NSW records its deadliest day of the pandemic with 29 new deaths
In New South Wales, there are 2,525 COVID-19 patients in hospital and 184 in intensive care, up from 2,383 and 182 on Thursday.
NSW Health warned that some of these cases were the same positive cases repeatedly reported by multiple rapid antigen tests (RATs) and PCR tests.
The changes to the testing guidelines come as health authorities hope the wave of Omicron variants will peak in New South Wales.
“While the healthcare system is under pressure and our healthcare teams are doing an incredible job, we are currently tracking both an ICU and hospitalization rate here in NSW better than the best-case scenario,” said Mr. Perrottet.
“It’s encouraging, reassuring and enjoyable.”
But NSW Health Deputy Secretary Susan Pearce warned that this does not mean the hard work is over.
While modeling reveals that COVID-19 patients stay in hospital for a shorter period, admissions and discharges keep hospitals busy.
“The consequence of this for our healthcare system is that every day I see a lot of movement in and out of hospitals and that in itself generates a significant amount of work for our staff,” he said. she declared.
Mr. Perrottet also confirmed that schools will open to all pupils as planned on February 1, despite the increase in the number of COVID-19 cases.
While authorities still do not have an accurate picture of the growth of infections in the state, Chief Medical Officer Professor Paul Kelly said on Thursday he expected daily case counts to start soon to drop.
“NSW is a bit ahead of the other states and it’s no surprise they started earlier but are about to peak, if not already,” he said.
“Other states are a bit further behind that, but I think late January, early February, we’ll probably see a change.”
Cases in Victoria are rising
Victoria has recorded 34,836 new cases of COVID-19 and 18 deaths, as questions persist over the supply of rapid tests to allow more workers to be released from isolation.
The new infections include 15,440 RATs and 19,396 PCR tests, the health department confirmed on Friday.
There are a record 976 patients in hospital, up 23 from Thursday, including 112 in intensive care of which 30 require ventilators.
It comes after Prime Minister Daniel Andrews announced that the list of workers exempt from self-isolating as close contacts will be expanded from midnight Tuesday, to include those in emergency services, education, services essential public services, custodial facilities, transport and freight.
Workers in healthcare, food distribution, manufacturing, packaging and retail supermarkets are already exempt, while workers in state government projects will not be included in the list.
Queensland records three deaths
Meanwhile, three people have died of COVID-19 in Queensland as the state records 23,630 new cases of the virus.
It comes a day before the state scraps all internal border controls and a day after suffering its deadliest day of the pandemic.
“Any death is a tragedy and living it during a pandemic is heartbreaking,” Prime Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk said Friday.
Two of those who died were in their 60s and one in their 60s, while all three were unvaccinated.
Outbreak hits Northern Territory youth detention center
The pandemic has reached a Northern Territory youth detention center with four inmates at an Alice Springs jail diagnosed with COVID-19.
Territory Families, Housing and Communities provided few details about the infected youngsters, who tested positive earlier in the week.
It says the four, who are either on remand or in pre-trial detention, do not have symptoms and are medically isolated to avoid spreading the virus to other prisoners.
The positive cases led the correctional center to suspend the reception of inmates.
“In accordance with COVID management plans, young people are being transferred to the Don Dale Youth Detention Center (near Darwin),” a spokeswoman said.
Three youngsters were moved to the controversial Don Dale facility on Thursday.
“There are currently no plans to move any other young people currently at (Alice Springs Institution) out of the center as they are being properly cared for,” the spokeswoman said.
Alice Springs Youth Detention Center is located within the Alice Springs Correctional Compound, 25km from the central Australian city.
The center houses male and female inmates from Alice Springs and surrounding areas.
On Thursday, there were 15 inmates in the facility.
In NT, 546 new COVID-19 infections were recorded on Friday, while Chief Minister Michael Gunner admitted that the territory’s new exhibition site messaging system linked to the registration app had not did not work as expected.
“Over the past week, these messages have not been sent,” he said. “There is no excuse for this.”
Mr Gunner said instructions had been given to a government team to set up the new system by the NT’s security and management committee.
“But it hasn’t been implemented, which is unacceptable,” he said.
South Australia reports six deaths
Prime Minister Steven Marshall said the state had recorded six deaths and 5,679 new cases, with the case count including rapid antigen test numbers for the first time.
He said the case figures should be treated with caution, adding: ‘Many of the samples reported today are samples from two days ago.
Drop in active cases in Tasmania
Tasmania reported 1,201 new cases of coronavirus, but the total number of documented active cases in the state fell for the second day in a row.
Twenty-four people with COVID-19 are hospitalized, 10 of whom are being treated specifically for symptoms of the virus. None are in intensive care.
The other 14 people hospitalized have unrelated health issues.
The new infections come from 852 self-reported RATs and 349 PCR tests.
Tasmania’s health department says 1,739 people have been released from solitary confinement in the past 24 hours.
That means there are 7,439 active cases reported, down from 7,969 on Thursday and 8,764 on Wednesday.
Thirty-nine cases are staying in community management facilities and 293 people are using COVID home care.
Additional reporting by SBS News.