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NSW records deadliest day of the pandemic as Perrottet orders 50 million more rapid tests

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet (middle) announced that the state had obtained 50 million additional rapid antigen tests. Photo: Facebook/Dom Perrottet.

By DANIEL LO SURDO

NSW has recorded its deadliest day of the COVID-19 pandemic as the state recorded 16 deaths during the most recent reporting period, surpassing the 15 recorded on September 29 and October 1 last year.

The new record comes as NSW scrambles to limit the spread of the virus through new restrictions, including banning singing and dancing in hospitality venues, entertainment facilities and major recreation facilities until January 27.

The NSW government also announced today, along with the Queensland government, that close contacts of confirmed positive COVID-19 cases will be allowed out of isolation should their work be critical for food supply or emergency services, as mass staff shortages have amplified cultivation, manufacturing and transportation issues within the industry.

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet said that the state will move through a “challenging three to four weeks” as peak COVID-19 cases are expected to occur in mid-January, according to modelling used by NSW Health. Mr Perrottet also announced that the state had acquired an additional 50 million rapid antigen tests, bringing the state’s rapid test haul to 100 million.

The Premier called vaccination the “key message” throughout the Omicron surge, imploring those who are eligible for their second vaccination to “go out, make the effort [and] get it done”. In the last reporting period, 93.7 per cent of the NSW population aged 16 and over had received a second dose of the vaccine, with 95.1 per cent double vaccinated.

The 16 deaths consisted of eight women and eight men in their 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s.

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