An optimistic Premier Dominic Perrottet says New South Wales is tracking better than the “best case scenario” against COVID-19 modelling, despite recording more than 150,000 cases in two days.
Daily COVID-19 case dropped to 63,018 today, as the state recorded a grim record of 29 deaths.

There are now 2525 people in hospital, 184 of whom are in intensive care. That is a rise in hospitalisations of 142 on the previous day.

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

Victoria has recorded another 34,836 new COVID-19 cases today and 18 deaths, as isolation rules are eased across the state for workers in critical industries. The number of infected patients requiring treatment has also risen, with 976 people currently being cared for in hospitals. Of those, 112 are in the intensive care unit and 30 require ventilation.

Of today’s deaths, 15 were men and 14 were women.

Three were in their 40s, five in their 60s, five in their 70s, 11 in their 80s and five in their 90s.

NSW Chief Health Officer Chant said of the people in their 40s, two were fully vaccinated and one had significant underlying health conditions linked to an immuno-suppressive disease.

The third was unvaccinated and had contracted the Delta strain.

Four of the five people in their 60s who died were unvaccinated.

The vaccinated person had received three doses and also suffered “very significant” underlying health conditions, Dr Chant said.

NSW Health again said that the case numbers may be inflated by multiple RAT results from the same person, or by people who tested positive on an RAT before receiving a PCR test.

NSW residents have also been told today that the mandate to reporting RATs does not extend to people who are already in isolation following a positive PCR test result.

Dr Chant also clarified the isolation rules for people who have emerged from quarantine after contracting COVID-19.

Anybody who isolates after a COVID-19 diagnosis does not have to isolate if termed a household contact, for the next 28 days.

“This hasn’t been, probably, very clear,” she said.

“Within four weeks of when they have been released from isolation, they are not considered at risk of reinfection and therefore don’t have to isolate.

Dr Chant also said the term “close contact” was currently somewhat out of date, being replaced by household contacts.

A little more than 60,000 positive RAT results, dating back to January 1, were included in yesterday’s record tally of 92,264 new COVID-19 cases.

NSW registered more than 90,000 new COVID-19 cases yesterday. (AP)

But Mr Perrottet said 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.”

NSW deputy health secretary Susan Pearce said it was growing more likely that cases would start to plateau next week.

But she warned that would not mean hospitals would immediately slow down.

“That is pleasing, but that plateauing is obviously still at a relatively high level of COVID patients in our hospitals, and in our ICUs,” she said.

Furore over Hillsong event

The high numbers come as a Hillsong youth camp on the NSW Mid North Coast faces heavy criticism, with witnesses claiming it looked more like a music festival, with singing and dancing.

NSW Health said last night it had “requested Hillsong immediately stop singing and dancing at an event being held in the Newcastle area”, saying it was a breach of the Public Health Order.

Health Minister Brad Hazzard said the Hillsong event was “clearly in breach of both the spirit and intent of the Order, which is in place to help keep the community safe”.

Today, Mr Perrottet said he was “completely shocked”.

“I echo the frustration and anger that other people across the state felt,” he said.

Hillsong has denied any claims that the camp was a music festival.

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“These events are our annual high school aged youth camps, and are not similar to a music festival in any way,” a Hillsong spokesperson said in a statement.

“Our camps involve primarily outdoor recreational activities including sports and games.

“We follow strict COVID procedures and adhere to government guidelines.

“Outdoor Christian services are held during the camp but these are only a small part of the program, and any singing is only a small part of each service.”

Source: 9News

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