SIGN UP for our newsletter ✉️ :

Get the latest stories delivered straight to you

Covid NSW: Cases drop as ICU admissions, hospitalisations rise

NSW has recorded more than 6000 new cases of Covid-19 as hospitalisations and ICU admissions continue to steadily rise.

The health department said on Tuesday 6,062 new cases have been found with five more people in the intensive care unit bringing the total to 60. Hospitalisations have also risen from 521 to 557.

Another death was also recorded.

Testing numbers have also dropped from more than 97,000 to 93,000 in the 24 hours leading up to 8pm on Monday.

Members of the public wait in line outside a Covid-19 testing clinic in Sydney, Australia.
People line up for Covid-19 testing at a clinic in Sydney. Source: Getty Images

The overall positivity rate – the number of tests which return a positive result – has remained about the same at 6.47 per cent.

NSW recorded more than 6,300 cases of coronavirus on Monday. The state also recorded Australia's first confirmed death from the Omicron variant of coronavirus after a fully vaccinated man in his 80s died.

NSW Health Minister criticises Queensland Premier

Testing facilities across NSW have been inundated with patients.

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard accused the Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk of "effectively perverting the purposes of pathology testing" as travellers seeking Covid-19 tests clog up the already overwhelmed system.

Queensland requires arrivals from hotspots present a negative PCR test within 72 hours of arrival. The Queensland Premier has said this rule will not change until the New Year.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk speaks to the media after delivering the keynote address at the Queensland Resources Council’s annual 'State of the Sector' lunch, in Brisbane.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has remained firm on the travel requirements from hotspots. Source: AAP

Wait times have now blown out to the point the test results are no longer relevant, Mr Hazzard told Nine newspapers.

"If Queensland thinks people are arriving free of Covid, that's not necessarily true.

"These tests have been done three or four days before arriving; it's counterproductive.

"This rule is contributing to the breakdown of the biggest pathology system in the country.

"We are not getting the turnaround times we need."

Ms Palaszczuk denies the rule is contributing significantly to NSW's testing woes.

Adding to the mayhem, St Vincent's Hospital in Sydney admitted to two testing blunders in as many days, revealing on Monday almost 1000 people were told they were Covid-19 negative when in fact their results hadn't been returned yet.

It came a day after the hospital confirmed that more than 400 people who initially received a negative result on Christmas Day were notified on Boxing Day they had actually tested positive.

Cars line up along Campbell Parade as health workers congregate ahead of the opening of the COVID-19 testing clinic at Bondi Beach.
Queues for testing, like this one at Bondi Beach's Campbell Parade, are being blamed on travellers requiring a negative coronavirus test. Source: Getty Images

Victoria's Covid-19 cases rise

Victoria has seen a sharp uptick in Covid-19 infections with 2,738 cases and four deaths reported on Tuesday.

The number of active cases has also risen again to 17,821 after 66,683 people were tested.

The number of active cases had fallen by nearly a thousand on Monday, to 16,467.

Fewer people are now in intensive care - down from 80 to 69.

Hospitalisations are also down from 368 to 361, bringing the seven-day average of 373.

There are 33 people on ventilators, down from 38.

with AAP

Do you have a story tip? Email:

You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Twitter and download the Yahoo News app from the App Store or Google Play.