NSW kicked off 2022 with another record new number of 22,577 Covid cases but the surge has slowed while Victoria numbers continue to rise with 7,442 new cases. 

Victoria had another nine deaths while NSW had five. 

The NSW figure is another increase from Friday’s reported 21,151 which was almost double the 12,226 figure revealed by state health officials on Thursday.

Testing numbers have fallen dramatically in the last 24 hours after NSW Premier Dom Perrottet ordered anyone who didn’t need a test to get out the queue.

Just 119,278 test results were processed in NSW in the last 24 hours, compared to 148,410 on Friday. 

NSW kicked off 2022 with another record new number of 22,577 Covid cases but the surge has slowed while Victoria numbers continue to rise with 7,442 new cases (pictured, a PCR test is carried out at the testing clinic at Sydney Airport)

NSW kicked off 2022 with another record new number of 22,577 Covid cases but the surge has slowed while Victoria numbers continue to rise with 7,442 new cases (pictured, a PCR test is carried out at the testing clinic at Sydney Airport)

NSW kicked off 2022 with another record new number of 22,577 Covid cases but the surge has slowed while Victoria numbers continue to rise with 7,442 new cases (pictured, a PCR test is carried out at the testing clinic at Sydney Airport)

Saturday’s figures in NSW also revealed another rise in hospitalisations with 910 on a ward, up from 832 just 24 hours earlier, with 79 in ICU, up 10 from Friday. 

A week ago, there were just 388 in NSW hospitals n Christmas Day, 

Victoria revealed the state now has 51 patients in ICU – which is down from Friday’s 54 intensive care patients – with 21 on ventilators.

Cases in hospital showed a slight rise from 428 on Friday to 451 on New Year’s Day.

Test results in Victoria saw only a slight drop from around 66,000 on Friday to around 63,000 on Saturday. 

The figures were revealed after tweaks were this week made to who is now eligible for PCR testing and changes to the definition of close contacts.

NSW testing numbers have fallen dramatically in the last 24 hours after NSW Premier Dom Perrottet ordered anyone who didn't need a test to get out the queue (pictured, a New Year's Day queue to be tested in Bondi)

NSW testing numbers have fallen dramatically in the last 24 hours after NSW Premier Dom Perrottet ordered anyone who didn't need a test to get out the queue (pictured, a New Year's Day queue to be tested in Bondi)

NSW testing numbers have fallen dramatically in the last 24 hours after NSW Premier Dom Perrottet ordered anyone who didn’t need a test to get out the queue (pictured, a New Year’s Day queue to be tested in Bondi)

Under the new rules, only people who have Covid symptoms  or a positive rapid antigen test result or are a close contact of a confirmed case should get tested.

Close contacts are now only people who share a household or aged care facility with an infected person, or are specifically notified by NSW Health after a superspreader event.

The move is to ease the burden on testing clinics and pathology labs after they threatened to become overwhelmed this week with a massive surge in testing.

Redefining close contacts will also avoid the UK’s ‘pingdemic’ where so many workers were ‘pinged’ as a close contact and sent into isolation that it almost brought the country to a standstill.

Under the new rules, only people who have Covid symptoms or a positive rapid antigen test result or are a close contact of a confirmed case should get tested (pictured, testing at Bondi on New Year's Day)

Under the new rules, only people who have Covid symptoms or a positive rapid antigen test result or are a close contact of a confirmed case should get tested (pictured, testing at Bondi on New Year's Day)

Under the new rules, only people who have Covid symptoms or a positive rapid antigen test result or are a close contact of a confirmed case should get tested (pictured, testing at Bondi on New Year’s Day)

Another change revealed late on New Year’s Eve will force healthcare staff identified as close contacts back to work in NSW in ‘exceptional’ circumstances if they have no symptoms.

Health Minister Brad Hazzard signed off on the exemption late, saying the move will make sure ‘key services are not disrupted.’

If those doctors, nurses or other staff develop symptoms they will be banned from the workplace and must get a PCR test and isolate until they get a result. 

Close contact healthcare workers must also travel directly to and from their workplace.

They will also be ordered to wear a mask at all times at work except when eating, drinking, or needing to take it off for work. 

Source: Daily Mail

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