Hospitalisations jump as NSW records 6,394 COVID-19 cases despite lower testing turnout

NSW has recorded 6,394 new COVID-19 cases, despite a 36 per cent drop in tests on Christmas Day.

In the 24 hours to 8pm last night, hospitalisations jumped to 458, up from 388 in the previous reporting period.

The number of patients in ICU remains the same as a day earlier, at 52.

The latest cases are the highest daily COVID-19 figures recorded in any Australian jurisdiction.

There were 109,545 COVID tests conducted in 24 hours, a significant drop from Friday’s 149,261.

Earlier this week Health Minister Brad Hazzard asked people not to get tested just “for the sake of it” so pathology services could clear the backlog for test results.

Mask mandates returned on Friday, with face coverings now compulsory in all indoor non-residential settings, including for hospitality staff and in offices, unless eating or drinking.

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NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet and Mr Hazzard are scheduled to make a COVID-19 announcement at 10am today.

The state yesterday reached a significant vaccine milestone after it reached 95 per cent single-dose target for those aged 16 years and over.

The double-dose rate for those over 16 in NSW is currently sitting at 93.5 per cent.

Of the people aged 12 to 15, 81.6 per cent have received a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 78.3 per cent have received two doses.

Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory are the only Australian jurisdictions so far to achieve 95 per cent double-dose coverage.

There were no deaths recorded in this reporting period.

More to come.

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