NSW has recorded 34,994 new Covid infections as the state notches more than 110,000 new cases in the past four days.
Hospital numbers continue to climb, with 1609 patients with Covid-19 currently in care and 131 in the ICU. While hospital admissions are the highest of the pandemic, ICU numbers are still well below the previous peak when the Delta variant was dominant.
NSW also announced another six Covid-related deaths on Thursday morning.
In the past 24-hour period, NSW Health conducted 111,231 tests.
The increasingly overwhelmed healthcare system in NSW and the lack of granular data on Covid cases has prompted speculation over the nature of daily hospitalisation figures and the severity of the Omicron variant.
A small and random analysis of Covid patients at two NSW hospitals found that roughly 20 to 24 per cent of those in hospital were admitted for other reasons, but tested positive while in care. Health Minister Brad Hazzard earlier this week suggested that number was as high as 40 to 50 per cent on some days.
On Wednesday, NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet warned the state was in for a challenging few weeks.
He said the government was doing everything it could to drive down testing delays while waiting for some of the 50 million rapid antigen tests it had ordered to arrive.
On Wednesday afternoon, National Cabinet announced people who tested positive on a rapid antigen test will no longer have to get their results confirmed with a PCR test.
Victoria sets Covid record as testing sites hit capacity
Victoria's Covid-19 case numbers have rocketed up again with 21,997 new infections reported Thursday.
The figures come as 64,861 test were conducted in the past 24-hour period. Despite ongoing testing delays, the latest numbers suggest one in three people currently getting swabbed are returning a positive result.
Six more people have also died from Covid in the state.
Hospitalisations are up slightly again, to 631 on Thursday from 591 the day before.
There are now 51 people in intensive care and 22 on ventilators.
By 9am on Thursday there were 35 state-run PCR testing sites closed because they were over capacity.
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