ICU numbers jump as NSW records more than 25,000 new Covid cases

NSW has recorded more than 25,000 new cases of coronavirus as ICU admissions continue to rise.

NSW Health on Tuesday morning said 25,870 new infections have been recorded with a further 11 deaths.

In hospital there are currently 2,186 people with coronavirus of which 170 are in the ICU. It means 11 more people are now in the ICU than there were on Monday with overall hospitalisations up by 156.

Testing dropped from more than 84,000 on Sunday in the 24 hours to 8pm to just 71,325.

Health care workers collect information from members of the public as they queue in their cars for a Covid-19 PCR test at the St Vincent’s Drive-through Clinic at Bondi Beach in Sydney.
People queue for Covid-19 testing at Bondi. Source: AAP

Monday's numbers showed the deadliest day for the pandemic so far in NSW with 18 deaths recorded including that of a child aged under five in Sydney's southwest.

The child died at home.

System for reporting RATs in NSW set to launch

The NSW Government wants residents to report positive rapid antigen test results.

The state is about to move into a dual reporting system for infections that includes positive, self-administered RAT results and the normal PCR results.

NSW Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant warned on Monday that the day's lower daily case number of 20,293 new infections was "conservative" because RAT results were yet to be officially included.

While the system to report RAT results is not yet fully functioning, the current requirement is effectively voluntary.

Covid hospitalisations show no signs of slowing as the state desperately works to manage its testing system.
Covid hospitalisations show no signs of slowing as the state desperately works to manage its testing system.

Health Minister Brad Hazzard told The Sydney Morning Herald on Tuesday the government wants to mandate the reporting of positive RAT results.

His department has sought advice from the Crown Solicitor's Office on how it can be legally enforced.

"It comes with the added benefit that it might also open the door to federal financial assistance if you're off work for the week. The bottom line is it is a must-do, even if there is no fine," Mr Hazzard told the SMH.

"At the end of the day, it's an obligation on all of us to make sure that we log in to the Service NSW app, particularly as it will give a clear picture of how the virus is moving through the community."

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet last week told reporters 50 million RATs were headed for the state.

He also flagged the potential for more people in NSW to be offered the tests for free.

"There is no dollar figure that we will not put on the table to ensure … rapid antigen tests are available to anybody right across the state who needs one," Mr Perrottet said.

with AAP

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