NSW and Australia have recorded their deadliest day of the COVID-19 pandemic so far as the state recorded 36 deaths in the last reporting period, while 74 total deaths were recorded across the nation.
Five people from Sydney were among the deaths while none were recorded from the Inner West, down from the four reported on Sunday.
Hospitalisations and intensive care admissions have continued to steadily increase, with the figures at 2,850 and 209, respectively. The Sydney Local Health District, which includes the Balmain, Concord, Canterbury and Royal Prince Alfred hospitals, recorded 1,312 cases.
The 36 deaths more than double yesterday’s 17, and bring the state’s total to 919. Previously, the highest number of daily deaths was 29, recorded four days ago.
Of the 36 deaths, one person was in their 40s, two people were in their 50s, one person was in their 60s, 11 people were in their 70s, 12 people were in their 80s and nine people were in their 90s. 33 had received at least two doses of a COVID-19 vaccination, while three were not vaccinated.
13,763 of the new cases were detected using rapid antigen tests recorded in the Service NSW app, and 16,067 from PCR tests.
Schools across the state are still planning to reopen for in-person learning on February 1, with NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet saying that rapid test availability and usage would be essential to the state’s back-to-school plan.
While speaking to ABC News, Mr Perrottet said that 1.2 million rapid tests arrived in the state overnight and that an additional 15 million were expected within the next week.
“The World Health [Organisation] has said, schools should be the last to close and the first to open,” he said.
Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant said that while the trajectory of case numbers has slowed, authorities expected a slight increase once schools resumed.
“The fact that our projections are tracking under the current curve, the fact that the numbers have stabilised, give us some hope that we have been slowing the spread,” Dr Chant said.
From January 31, NSW residents will be eligible to receive a booster dose of a COVID-19 vaccination three months after their second jab.