New South Wales has reported 63,018 new coronavirus cases while the inclusion of rapid antigen tests (RATs) in the system hits its second day.

There were sadly 29 more fatalities overnight, a new daily record number for the state since the beginning of the pandemic.

Hospitalisations are also higher, with 2,525 people reported in the last 24 hours. ICU numbers remain the same with 184 people being treated.

Meanwhile, it is worth mentioning that the case numbers may be inflated by multiple RAT results from the same person, or by people who tested positive on an RAT before receiving a PCR test, according to NSW Health.

Slightly over 60,000 positive RAT results, from as back as 1 January 2022, were included in yesterday’s record tally of 92,264 new COVID-19 cases.

Moving on  to Victoria, 34,836 new Covid cases were detected in the past 24 hours with 976 people being treated in hospital including 112 in ICU.

Sadly, 18 people passed away with COVID-19.

There are now about 230,000 active cases of the virus across the state with hundreds of people still looking for RATs.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said that booster shots could also be made mandatory for additional industries, as extra vaccine supplies are rolled out. A supply of booster shots is being allocated to Woolworths and Coles where inoculation pop up clinics will be set up to help get staff vaccinated.
“We will provide them with the supply and they will most likely engage a private provider to administer the vaccine,” he said, especially as the isolation ban in critical industries is being lifted.

COVID-19 Commander Jeroen Weimar stressed that the lifting of isolation rules “is not an open slather” for all workers within those sectors. Extra safety measures should and will be implemented.

“They need to be treated with significant care,” he said.

“From the Omicron wave, we know that around quarter or half of close contacts will ultimately become infected.”