NSW has recorded by far its deadliest day of the pandemic, reporting 49 Covid-19-related deaths on Saturday, eclipsing its previous daily record.
Cases continue to head south with just 13,354 new infections from both PCR testing and rapid antigen tests announced by NSW Health this morning.
Hospitalisations and the number of people in the ICU with Covid are also down slightly. There are currently 2,693 people in hospitals across NSW with Covid, down from 2,737 yesterday, while 186 are in the ICU, down from 189.
However as a lagging indicator of community spread, daily Covid deaths continue to mount well after the Omicron wave appears to have peaked.
NSW has now recorded more deaths in January this year – 653 – than it did all of last year – 609.
Meanwhile Victoria has recorded 12,250 new Covid-19 infections on Saturday and 31 deaths.
Covid hospitalisations in Victoria have fallen by 35 to 953 patients. There are 114 people in intensive care, with 39 of those on a ventilator.
Today's record death toll for NSW comes after the deadliest day of the pandemic to date for Australia on Friday when NSW recorded 35 Covid-related deaths and Victoria recorded a record 39 Covid deaths.
New surge expected with students, office workers returning
On Friday, NSW premier Dominic Perrottet said as school returned and people went back to the office there was "no doubt" case numbers would increase.
However he said the state's health care system was in a "strong position" to handle a possible surge.
"Living alongside the virus means there will be cases of the virus in the community each and every day," Mr Perrottet said.
"When mobility increases, case numbers increase."
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