Yesterday’s public order from New South Wales mandating the reporting of positive COVID-19 rapid antigen test (RAT) results has had a major impact on case numbers with at least 61,387 infections reported from self-registered RAT tests.
Customer Service Minister Victor Dominello said registered positive RAT results had surpassed 82,000 as of 9am, even though, there is no real way of policing who gets a positive and who doesn’t.
In total, NSW recorded 91,928 new COVID-19 cases and 22 deaths in the past 24 hours; the biggest COVID-related death toll since the start of the pandemic. There are currently 2,383 people hospitalised, 182 in ICUs and 60 on a ventilator.
NSW Health highlighted that some cases included in the latest figures were people who reported positive RATs on multiple days or had a positive PCR test during the same reporting period.
Meanwhile, Victoria recorded 37,169 Covid-19 cases and 25 deaths with close to 1000 people hospitalised while Ambulance Victoria is still on code red.
Victorian premier Daniel Andrews has confirmed that Victoria will extend the ability for essential workers to forgo close contact isolation if they are asymptomatic.
Household contacts of COVID-19 cases who work in education, transport, critical utilities and emergency services will be able to go to work; same will apply to freight sectors.
“They will be exempt if they are playing a critical role, they will be exempt from having to do home isolation,” Andrews said.
“They will need to take a RAT test for five days and if that is negative they can proceed to do that critical work.”
Victoria’s Premier Daniel Andrews says truck driver shortages are to blame for bare shelves in the state’s supermarkets in recent days.
It marks an expansion of the exemption, which already applies to healthcare and food and drink distribution workers.
Queensland has recorded six COVID-19 deaths and confirmed 14,914 new cases; the largest number of COVID deaths recorded on a single day in Queensland.
The state which has scraped border rules, is expected to reach 90 per cent fully vaccinated by the end of next week.
Lastly, Northern Territory is at around 500 cases a day, but has also announced changes to close contact requirements for essential workers who are asymptomatic. To ensure police, healthcare workers, and supermarket staff can still work, they will be allowed out of isolation.
Queensland will maintain a mandate requiring people to be fully vaccinated to be able to enter events and venues, Ms Palaszczuk has confirmed.
Fines will be issued to those failing to report a positive RAT.