NSW has recorded 13,524 new cases and 52 deaths on Sunday marking the states deadliest day of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Victoria hit 10,589 new infections and 20 deaths – down from the 39 fatalities reported on Friday and the 31 announced on Saturday.
The state continues to experience a dip in new infections and deaths while cases in NSW rose very slightly – up from 13,354 cases the previous day.
Hospitalisations were steady with 2,663 patients in NSW hospitals and 889 in Victoria, with ICU numbers in the two states hitting 182 and 35.
NSW chief health officer Kerry Chant said 31 of the 52 deaths were nursing home residents, including 21 who died in the aged care facilities.
Just two had received booster shots, 20 were vaccinated, two had only one dose, and seven were unvaccinated.
NSW has recorded 13,524 new cases and 52 deaths on Sunday marking the states deadliest day of the pandemic (pictured, pedestrians in Melbourne)
NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet (pictured) is scheduled to make an announcement on financial support for businesses on Sunday morning
NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet on Sunday announced $1 billion in financial support for businesses.
Mr Perrottet told Sky News on Sunday morning he expected the number of people dying with the virus would stay steady as the country braced for flu season.
He predicted it could be ‘difficult’ to curtail new cases in upcoming cooler months.
‘This is the new world,’ the premier said. ‘We expect those (death) numbers to stay pretty consistent.
‘We look at the evidence in front of us and find a balance between the health impact, economic impact, mental health impacts and tailor our settings.’
More than eight million rapid antigen tests have been distributed to over 3,000 NSW schools ahead of the return of term one of the year.
Education secretary Georgina Harrisson says the test distribution has been ‘one of the most challenging logistical undertakings in recent memory’.
More than eight million rapid antigen tests have been distributed to over 3,000 NSW schools ahead of the return of term one of the year (pictured, a Sydney testing clinic)
Parents should already have been informed about how they can pick up RATs before the first day of term for public school students begins on Tuesday.
Those attending private schools returned to school on Thursday.
The government released its back-to-school plan on Sunday, with advice that all students take a rapid test before the first day of term one.
As criticism grew over the distribution of tests, Mr Perrottet said on Thursday there was ‘never a requirement’ for students to be rapid tested on day one of term.
The government released its back-to-school plan on Sunday, with advice that all students take a rapid test before the first day of term one (pictured, a shopper walks in Sydney)
Department staff have been volunteering their time, some of them delivering tests to schools using their own cars, while one school used a ferry to get kits to families.
The back-to-school plan says testing will continue twice a week for the first four weeks of the term in a bid to reduce the number of infections entering classrooms.
Meanwhile, about one third of eligible five to 11-year-olds in NSW have received a dose of a Covid vaccine as the rollout enters its fourth week.
The premier said on Friday as school returned and people went back to the office there was ‘no doubt’ case numbers would increase.
He added our ‘health care system, hospitalisations and ICU’ were in a ‘strong position’ to handle a possible rise in cases.
The premier said on Friday as school returned and people went back to the office there was ‘no doubt’ case numbers would increase (pictured, pedestrians in Chinatown, Sydney)
‘Living alongside the virus means there will be cases of the virus in the community each and every day.
‘When mobility increases, case numbers increase. That is the model we’ve moved to in NSW, Australia and around the world.’
It comes as a new variant dubbed ‘the son’ of Omicron has touched down on Australian shores, health authorities have confirmed.
The new BA.2 subvariant has swept across Europe and already makes up 45 per cent of all cases in Denmark. So far the ‘stealth’ variant doesn’t appear to be more dangerous.
However scientists fear it could also be even harder to track than previous strains as it can only be confirmed through lab analysis rather than a PCR test.
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