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Almost 1000 New South Wales health care workers have been stood down or quit because they refused to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

NSW Health confirmed 995 of its 170,000 workforce have resigned or been sacked after refusing the vaccine.

This includes 325 people who have resigned and 670 who were stood down by NSW Health due to their vaccination position.

Staff prepare to collect samples at a drive-through COVID-19 testing clinic at Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia.
Staff prepare to collect samples at a drive-through COVID-19 testing clinic at Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia. (AP)

“NSW Health can advise that of its entire workforce of about 170,000 people, approximately 0.2 per cent (325) have resigned due to their vaccination position as of 23 December 2021,” a NSW Health spokesperson said.

“Additionally, approximately 670 people (0.4 per cent) have now ceased employment with NSW Health due to their position in relation to the COVID-19 vaccine.”

“These former employees were a mix of clinical and non-clinical staff.”

“The importance of having our workforce vaccinated has never been more evident than during the current difficulties presented by the Omicron variant, particularly with the high number of COVID-19 cases in the community and subsequent presentations and admissions to our hospitals.”

Currently, there are also about 6000 health workers who are in isolation due to COVID-19 exposure.

Health care workers now only need to obtain a negative rapid antigen test result before returning to work.

This is aimed to assist the pressure plaguing the health system and to stop supply chain disruptions in other industries.

An ambulance at St Vincent's Hospital in Sydney
The health system in NSW is under extreme pressure due to rising COVID-19 cases. (RHETT WYMAN)

The health system is facing extreme pressure as hospitalisations and ICU admissions continue to rise in the state’s surging Omicron wave.

Yesterday, there were 2525 people in hospital, 184 of whom are in intensive care.

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet said yesterday in terms of hospitalisations and ICU admissions, the health system was outstripping even the most optimistic modelling.

“So that is encouraging, reassuring and pleasing,” he said.

Mr Perrottet said the health system was nonetheless under pressure.

“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 in the pandemic.”

New South Wales Premier Dominic Perrottet
Premier Dominic Perrottet said the state is tracking better in hospital admissions than modelling predicted. (9News)
Coles Eastgardens

How Australia faced the emergence of the Omicron variant

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

Source: 9News

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