NSW’s daily Covid cases soar amid Omicron fears

Coronavirus cases in NSW have continued to surge with 804 new cases announced on Tuesday.

The health department reported the cases on Tuesday with one new death and said 85 cases of the Omicron Covid variant are now present in the state with that number expected to grow. There were more than 86,500 tests conducted on Monday.

It is the highest number of cases since October 2, and a leap from Monday’s total of 536. Hospitalisation rates remain steady with only 168 people in the state's hospitals and 21 in the ICU. At the end of September 1090 were in hospital with Covid and 213 in ICU.

Large crowds of beachgoers are seen at Bronte Beach Sydney.
People enjoy the sun at Sydney's Bronte Beach. Source: AAP

The surge comes as Queensland on Monday reopened its borders with NSW for the first time in months, more than a week out from Christmas.

Meanwhile, NSW Health says anyone who was at Newcastle's Finnegan's Hotel in Darby Street between 6.30pm on Friday and 2.30am on Saturday is advised to get tested and self-isolate for seven days.

"All household contacts of close contacts must also be tested and self-isolate until a negative result is received by everyone in the household," NSW Health said on Monday night.

"It is likely some of these cases have the Omicron variant of concern."

People are seen at The Strand Arcade in Sydney.
People shop in The Strand Arcade in Sydney as Christmas shopping heats up. Source: AAP

NSW Health is appealing for anyone who didn't check in using the QR code to also get tested and self-isolate.

The latest alert comes after cases linked to an outbreak that started at Newcastle's Argyle House nightclub on Wednesday spiked from 24 to 84 on Monday, with a number of the cases also likely to be the Omicron variant.

Nearly 700 people checked into the venue and Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant said it was "incredibly important" that anyone who was at the venue had a test, "given the high transmission at this venue".

Wednesday is also the day NSW scraps masks in indoor settings, except for public transport and airports, and ends density limits.

The unvaccinated will also be free to mingle and enjoy most of the same freedoms as the fully vaccinated.

NSW restriction changes on December 15

  • QR code check-ins only required at hospitals, aged and disability care facilities, gyms, places of worship, funerals or memorial services, personal services (including sex services), pubs, small bars and registered clubs, nightclubs, strip clubs, sex on premises and indoor music festivals with over 1,000 people.

  • Density limits for outdoor settings and the limit on visitors to homes will be scrapped along with caps on people using gyms and indoor recreation.

  • Masks will only be required at airports and on public transport.

  • Patrons will be able to drink standing or sitting at licensed venues.

  • Singing and dancing will be permitted at all venues.

  • Funerals and weddings can proceed without attendance limits.

with AAP

Do you have a story tip? Email: newsroomau@yahoonews.com.

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