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New case numbers, isolation updates, testing chaos


New South Wales has recorded 6062 new COVID-19 cases and one death as another day of testing chaos looms for the state.

An unvaccinated man in his 80s from western Sydney died with the virus at Nepean Hospital.

There are 557 people in hospital, with 60 of them in intensive care.

It is the second day in a row cases have taken a slight fall.

At least one testing clinic has been forced to turn cars away ahead of opening as demand continues to overwhelm supply.

NSW Health said the testing system is under “enormous pressure”.

“The only people getting a PCR should be those who have COVID-19 symptoms; live in a household with a confirmed COVID-19-positive case; or have been in a venue which NSW Health has advised there has been high transmission,” NSW Health said.

NSW Health also urged people to take a rapid antigen test as an “additional precaution” prior to socialising.

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet has again called for Queensland  Premier Annastacia Palaczszuk to bring rapid testing for interstate travel forward from January 1.

“If there is anyway we could bring that forward we would appreciate it, because it’s putting substantial pressure on the system,” he said.

Mr Perrottet said the long testing lines are mostly made up by tourism tests.

NSW Premier addresses reports of pregnant women lining up for COVID-19 testing.
Mr Perrottet called for the Queensland government to change its testing requiments earlier. (9News)

“The number one thing is tests for asymptomatic people who are not feeling unwell and simply wanting to travel should be removed,” he said.

“We should take a more common sense approach.”

It comes as Health Minister Brad Hazzard accused the Queensland government of lacking common sense in its demand for PCR tests to cross the border.

He maintained his attack today, calling for an end to mandatory PCR testing for travellers.

“I would ask the Premier of Queensland to please just re-think the 1 January issue,” he said, referring to the date set by Annastacia Palaszczuk for shifting to rapid antigen tests.

“On all fronts, there is no logic continuing PCR testing for people effectively bringing tourism dollars to Queensland.”

Premier Palaszczuk said yesterday her administration would look to move to a rapid antigen testing requirement from January 1, but meanwhile massive queues in Sydney continue to overwhelm testing clinics.

A COVID-testing drive-through site in Bondi, Sydney.
A COVID-testing drive-through site in Bondi, Sydney. (Brook Mitchell)

Ms Palaszczuk has said only 10 per cent of those lining up for tests were travelling to Queensland, while federal government data suggests about 20 per cent are travelling anywhere interstate.

Hundreds more people have been delivered a false COVID-19 negative test, it emerged yesterday, after a Sydney lab issued incorrect results to 400 people.

Lines were building in Sydney from before dawn, with cars queueing at Leumeah in the city’s south-west hours ahead of the clinic there opening.

One woman said she had been in the queue since 7pm the night before.

“I’ve been turned away so many times and I have to get a second one to get back to work,” she told Today.

One woman said she had been in the queue since 7pm the night before in Sydney.
One woman said she had been in the queue since 7pm the night before in Sydney. (Nine)

Yesterday, Leumeah was among multiple clinics forced to turn hundreds away across the state, with some closing before midday.

And today, the Leumeah clinic has been forced to turn cars away even before it opened, with the queue already stretching out into the street.

NSW Health last night said close household contacts “essential to service delivery” would be able to leave isolation and return to work after seven days instead of 14, a move expected to significantly increase available staffing numbers.

Intimate look at frontline COVID-19 workers reveals pandemic reality

They would need a negative PCR test on day six and an approved risk assessment plan requiring daily rapid antigen testing, COVID-safe protocols in the workplace and PPE including wearing masks at all times while at work.

NSW recorded 6324 new COVID-19 cases yesterday.



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