NSW records 29 deaths from COVID-19 as hospitalizations rise; 63,018 new cases

An optimistic prime minister, Dominic Perrottet says New South Wales is tracking better than the “best-case scenario” against COVID-19 modeling, despite registering more than 150,000 cases in two days.
Daily COVID-19[female[feminine the number of cases fell to 63,018 today as the state recorded a grim record 29 deaths.

There are now 2,525 people in hospital, including 184 in intensive care. This represents an increase in hospitalizations of 142 from the previous day.

Of the positive cases, 37,938 were from rapid antigen tests which NSW Health said included 24,329 results from the last seven days.

Victoria has recorded 34,836 other new COVID-19[female[feminine cases today and 18 deaths, as isolation rules are relaxed across the state for workers in critical industries. The number of infected patients requiring treatment has also increased, with 976 people currently being cared for in hospitals. Of these, 112 are in the intensive care unit and 30 require ventilation.

Of today’s deaths, 15 were male and 14 were female.

Three were in their 40s, five in their 60s, five in their 60s, 11 in their 80s and five in their 90s.

NSW Health Director Chant said of those in their 40s, two were fully vaccinated and one had significant underlying health conditions linked to an immunosuppressive illness.

The third was not vaccinated and had contracted the Delta strain.

Four of the five people in their 60s who died were unvaccinated.

The vaccinated person had received three doses and also suffered from “very significant” underlying health conditions, Dr Chant said.

NSW Health again said the number of cases may be inflated by multiple RAT results from the same person, or by people who tested positive on a RAT before receiving a PCR test.

NSW residents were also told today that the mandate to report RATs does not extend to people who have already been isolated following a positive PCR test result.

Dr Chant also clarified the isolation rules for people who came out of quarantine after contracting COVID-19.

Anyone who self-isolates after being diagnosed with COVID-19 does not have to self-isolate if they qualify as a household contact, for the next 28 days.

“It probably wasn’t very clear,” she said.

“Within four weeks of being released from isolation, they are not considered to be at risk of re-infection and therefore do not have to self-isolate.

Dr Chant also said the term ‘close contact’ was currently somewhat outdated, replaced by household contacts.

Just over 60,000 positive RAT results, dating back to January 1, were included in yesterday’s record tally of 92,264 new COVID-19 cases.

NSW recorded over 90,000 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday. (AP)

But Mr Perrottet said that in terms of hospitalizations and intensive care admissions, the health system was exceeding even the most optimistic modelling.

“So it’s encouraging, reassuring and enjoyable,” he said.

Mr Perrottet said the healthcare system was nevertheless under pressure.

“It’s going to be a tough few weeks ahead, but the follow-up we’re posting today is very reassuring and encouraging given where we are in the pandemic today.”

NSW Deputy Health Secretary Susan Pearce said it was becoming increasingly likely that cases would start to peak next week.

But she warned that would not mean hospitals would immediately slow down.

“It’s nice, but that plateau is obviously still at a relatively high level of COVID patients in our hospitals and in our intensive care units,” she said.

Hillsong Fury Event

The high numbers come from a Hillsong youth camp on the NSW north coast faces strong criticism, with witnesses saying it was more like a music festival, with singing and dancing.

NSW Health said last night it had ‘asked Hillsong to immediately stop singing and dancing at an event in the Newcastle area’, claiming it was a breach of the public health order.

Health Minister Brad Hazzard said the Hillsong event was “clearly contrary to the spirit and intent of the Order, which is in place to help keep the community safe”.

Today, Mr. Perrottet said he was “completely shocked”.

“I echo the frustration and anger felt by others across the state,” he said.

Hillsong denied any claims that the camp was a music festival.

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“These events are our annual high school youth camps and are nothing like a music festival,” a Hillsong spokesperson said in a statement.

“Our camps mainly involve outdoor recreational activities, including sports and games.

“We are following strict COVID procedures and adhering to government guidelines.

“Outdoor Christian services are held during camp, but these are only a small part of the program, and any singing is only a small part of each service.”

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