Covid NSW: State records 63,018 new Covid-19 cases, 29 deaths

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet has revealed new modelling about the state’s Covid capacity on a day of record deaths.

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet insists the health system has the capacity to deal with the Omicron surge as the state records its deadliest day of the pandemic.

The state recorded 63,018 new Covid-19 cases on Friday, including 37,938 rapid antigen test results.

A record 29 people died in the past 24 hours.

There are 2525 people in hospital with the virus, with 184 of those in intensive care, up from 2383 and 182 respectively on Thursday. There are 59 people on ventilators.

Mr Perrottet said modelling being released on Friday tracking the current spike of hospitalisations was showing the situation was better than projected.

“We are tracking against that modelling and whilst the health system is under pressure, our health teams are doing an amazing job,” he said.

“We are currently tracking at both an ICU and hospitalisation rate here in NSW better than the best case scenario we released last week. So that is encouraging, reassuring and pleasing.”

He said both the health system and other jurisdictions were “feeling the strain”.

“The health system is under pressure in this state, just like right around the country and right around the world as we move through this pandemic,” Mr Perrottet said.

“It is going to be a difficult few weeks ahead but the tracking that we are releasing today is very reassuring and encouraging given where we sit today in the pandemic.”

Of the new cases, NSW Health said 37,938 were detected on rapid antigen tests (RATs), with 24,329 of these positive tests from the previous seven days.

There were 25,080 positive cases from PCR tests.

Chief health officer Kerry Chant said the 29 deaths include 15 men and 14 women, three aged in their 40s, five in their 60s, five in their 70s, 11 in their 80s and five in their 90s.

Some of the deaths include people who were fully vaccinated, with Dr Chant saying they “can’t protect everyone”.

“That’s why you need multiple layers of protection and that’s why we advice people to take care around vulnerable people,” she said on Friday.

“We ask people to take those additional precautions so we will tragically still see deaths in individuals that are vaccinated, the vaccines are so good at protection.”

“The vaccines we have available are safe and effective and the fundamentally best thing you can do is get vaccinated and get your booster as quickly as possible. But we will see deaths in people that are fully vaccinated.”

Cases surged on Thursday with more than 92,000 new infections recorded after positive rapid tests were added to the tally.

The state government has made it mandatory for residents to report their rapid tests or face a $1000 fine from next week.

There are now 95.2 per cent of eligible NSW residents aged over 16 who have had one dose of the vaccine, while 93.8 per cent are fully vaccinated.

Mr Perrottet revealed 40 per cent of those eligible for a Covid-19 booster in NSW have received the shot.

Of the population aged between 12 and 15, 81.9 per cent have had one dose of the vaccine and 78.2 per cent are fully vaccinated.

For children aged five to 11, 6.5 per cent have had one dose of a vaccine.

Victoria recorded 34,836 new cases and 18 Covid deaths in the past 24 hours.

There are now 976 patients in Victorian hospitals, with 112 in intensive care and 30 on ventilators.

Victoria’s pre-Omicron peak for Covid hospitalisations was 851 in October when the state was battling a surge in Delta infections.

More than 93 per cent of eligible Victorians are fully vaccinated and the state has a mammoth 239,396 active cases.

A total of 62,445 PCR tests were taken on Wednesday and 24,071 vaccines were administered at state hubs.

Mr Perrottet blasted the Hillsong megachurch after footage emerged of a youth camp where people were singing and dancing.

The state outlawed dancing and singing at nightclubs, pubs, bars and entertainment facilities amid a spike in Covid-19 infections across the state, but churches were allowed to go ahead with large religious gatherings.

Footage emerged from Hillsong’s youth “Wildlife Summercamp 2022” on Thursday, which showed young people in a large crowd singing and dancing, with some shirtless or on each other’s shoulders.

“I was completely shocked last night to see that and NSW Health is dealing with that, but I echo the frustration and anger that people right across the state have felt,” the premier said on Friday.

“What has got us through the last two years has been the efforts and sacrifices that many have made to keep people safe. That means that many businesses have had to tailor the way that they operate.”

Many people have had to change their behaviour to keep people safe. Now, we made those rules and even if technically, it was within the rules, it certainly wasn’t in the spirit of the rules.”

Hillsong has defended itself, saying the event was following “strict Covid procedures and adhering to government guidelines”.

Mr Perrottet said he believed Hillsong is “ensuring” it does not happen again but said he was “incredibly disappointed”.

“These rules aren‘t there for the sake of it. These rules are in place to keep people safe and for the 99.95 per cent of people who are doing the right thing,” he said.

I think everyone would feel completely frustrated and shocked by what they saw last night. We don’t want to see that happen again.

“There are many hospitality venues that have had to curb their operations in order to keep people safe as we move through this next period of time. So to see that last night, I was incredibly disappointed.”

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