NSW Covid cases drop slightly but positivity rate jumps

Covid-19 case numbers have dropped slightly in NSW, with the state reporting more than 4000 fewer cases than Saturday.

The health department said on Sunday 18,278 new cases of Covid-19 had been recorded with a further two deaths in the state.

However, the positivity rate increased, jumping to 20.3 per cent from 18.93 per cent on Saturday.

A health worker testing a person in a drive-through Covid-19 testing clinic.
NSW reported 18,278 cases of Covid-19 on Sunday. Source: AAP

It's a huge jump from last week's rate, which was 5.8 per cent on December 27.

More than 90,000 people were tested for Covid in the past 24 hours.

Hospitalisations in NSW have risen to 1066, up from 901. There are 83 people requiring intensive care.

Almost 94 per cent of adult NSW residents have now had two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine, while 78 per cent of 12 to 15 year olds have now received two doses.

Sunday's case numbers come after Professor Adrian Esterman, the chair of biostatistics and epidemiology at the University of South Australia, told The Sydney Morning Herald NSW could easily hit 100,000 daily cases by the end of January, adding case numbers in NSW are doubling every four days.

"In four days' time that is about 40,000 cases, and four days after that 80,000 cases, so you can see how easily it can reach 100,000 cases," he told the publication.

Focus shifted to hospitalisations, not case numbers

The high case numbers come as Premier Dominic Perrottet continues to focus on hospitalisation and intensive care numbers rather than the daily case total.

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said unvaccinated people make up the majority of those in intensive care.

NSW Health announced on Friday night asymptomatic health workers who are in isolation due to being a close contact of a positive case will be permitted to leave isolation in "exceptional circumstances" to ensure hospital systems can cope.

The exemption means close contacts can leave self-isolation to attend work if they have been identified by their employer as critical and unable to work from home.

If they develop symptoms they have to get a PCR test and can't return to work until they test negative.

Victoria records 7172 cases, three deaths

Victoria reported 7172 cases of Covid-19 and another three virus-related deaths on Sunday.

ICU cases sit at 52 and 22 are in need of ventilation.

In total, Victoria is managing 31,461 active Covid-19 cases.

Just over 48,000 people were tested in the past 24 hours.

With AAP.

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