NSW records highest daily COVID-19 cases ever with 2,213 and one death

NSW has recorded its highest COVID-19 daily cases ever with 2,213 infections and one death in the 24 hours to 8pm yesterday.

There are 215 people in hospital, including 24 in intensive care.

As of last night, 94.8 per cent of people aged 16 and over have had one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 93.3 per cent of the same age group have had two doses.

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The transmission rate and concerns over the Omicron variant has prompted NSW Health to issue a “red alert” for hospitals meaning restricting the number of people allowed to visit healthcare facilities.

NSW Health is urgently trying to contact hundreds of people who went to a Taylor Swift-themed party at the Metro Theatre in Sydney on Friday night.

So far, 97 people of the 600 people who attended the event have tested positive for COVID-19.

NSW Health believes transmission is being driven by the Omicron variant.

There were 127,583 swabs completed in the most recent reporting period.

The Cambridge in Newcastle west has been caught up in the city’s Omicron outbreak.(ABC Newcastle: Bindi Bryce)

Infections continue to mount in Newcastle.

NSW Health last night highlighted The Great Northern Hotel, Finnegan’s Hotel and The Cambridge Hotel as “venues of concern”.

People who attended those venues in the evening on Saturday, December 11 have been told to monitor for COVID-19 symptoms.

Anyone who went to The Cambridge Hotel on December 12 between 6pm and closing time have also been warned they may have been exposed to the virus.

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NSW Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant said on Wednesday that the uptick in cases was being driven by the Omicron variant.

The total number of confirmed Omicron cases in NSW now stands at 122.

Restrictions were eased on Wednesday for everyone in NSW, meaning masks were dropped as a requirement in most indoor settings including in shops. 

However, Dr Chant urged people to keep wearing masks inside.

“It’s a very tiny act, and you’re actually protecting yourself, but more importantly, you’re protecting others,” she said.

“You often don’t know you’ve got COVID, and you’re infectious.”

NSW Health also changed the definition of a close contact this week to focus on infected households, rather than public venues.

It means less people will be forced to isolate for seven days if they may have come into contact with someone who has COVID-19.

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