NSW has recorded more than 23,000 new Covid infections as it sets a new record for hospital admissions due to the virus.
The state's health department reported a further 23,131 coronavirus cases on Tuesday, yet another record for daily infections in NSW.
The number of people in hospital has also increased significantly, with 1344 patients currently in care. That's up from 1204 on Monday, surpassing the previous record for Covid hospital admissions set on September 21 during the Delta peak.
While ICU numbers are rising – 105 at the latest count – they are well short of the peak of 244 in September.
Testing numbers continue to decline, with just 83,376 tests conducted in the past 24-hour period, down more than 40 per cent from the pre-Christmas peak.
While widespread testing delays have muddied the data, the positivity rate continues to climb with more than a quarter of PCR tests returning a positive result.
Two more Covid-related deaths were also recorded Tuesday.
The increasing hospitalisation numbers may mask the true picture of the severity of the virus, with a small NSW Health study finding some patients counted in the Covid-19 numbers were actually admitted to hospital for completely different reasons, like childbirth.
NSW hospitalisations up 140 today to 1344.
◾️105 are in ICU (+10)
◾️️27 are on a ventilator (+️2)
️2 deaths today, total at ️621.
In the past week:
— CovidBaseAU 🦠📊🇦🇺 (@covidbaseau) January 3, 2022
NSW Health says with the spread of Omicron in the community, it's unsurprising that patients admitted for other injuries and illnesses will be found to have Covid as well.
Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant on Monday said authorities would be looking at "the whole picture", including hospitalisation figures, intensive care admissions, the positivity rate and case numbers.
Daily cases hit five figures in Victoria for the first time
In Victoria, case numbers have hit five figures for the first time with 14,020 new positive cases announced on Tuesday morning.
Testing commander Jeroen Weimar said on Monday one-in-five cases being PCR-tested was positive, a tenfold increase over the past few weeks.
Two more people have also died Victoria and there are more than 500 people in hospital.
Meanwhile millions more Aussies are now eligible for their booster shot with the timeframe between second and third doses reducing to four months from Tuesday, making some 7.5 million Australians now eligible for their third shot.
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