Victoria’s case numbers keep coming in high while testing sites still experience staff shortages and long processing times.
There were 37,944 new cases detected – 19,491 came through positive PCR tests from a total of 59,670 PCR test results received.

Unfortunately, the state also recorded more 13 deaths overnight.

Currently, there are 861 people being treated in hospital, including 117 in ICU; an increase from yesterday and the highest number of patients to be hospitalised since the beginning of the pandemic.

Meanwhile, the spike in hospitalisations had Ambulance Victoria forced to issue its second Code Red in a week, warning the public to ambulance delays due to extreme demand.

“Ambulance Victoria is experiencing an extremely high demand for ambulances in the metropolitan region,” a statement said.

“It is likely there will be a delay in an ambulance reaching you.”

“Our priority is to provide care to Victorians who require life-saving assistance.”

SES and Lifesaving Victoria have stepped in to support the demand.

Acting Premier Jacinta Allan said it showed the “unprecedented challenges” the state health system was facing during the pandemic.

“Code red circumstances do happen from time to time both as a consequence of the pandemic but indeed other events, either natural disasters or other events that are going on in the community at that given time,” she said.

“But there’s no doubt that our health system – our community as a whole – is facing some really challenging and, indeed, unprecedented challenges as a consequence of the Omicron virus.”- Jacinta Allan

New South Wales on the other hand has recorded 25,870 new COVID-19 cases and 11 deaths in the 24 hours to 8pm last night.
Hospitalisations rose to 2186, with 170 in intensive care.
These came through 71,325 tests done, less than the day before.

NSW Chief Medical Officer Kerry Chant said the lower case numbers were because of the transition from PCR testing to RATs,
“That (case number) clearly is an underestimate,” Dr Chant said as RATs remain scarce in NSW, with more supplies incoming.
Of yesterday’s 18 dead, one was a child aged under five from south-western Sydney who had “significant” underlying health conditions.
The state is struggling with the increase in hospitalisations that, according to health authorities, is due to both COVID and non-COVID infected persons.

Finally, Tasmania has reported 1,379 new Covid-19 cases overnight with 18 people being treated in hospital.

More to come.