NSW reports 32 deaths, 32,000 virus cases

Luke Costin and Tiffanie Turnbull |

NSW has recorded a second-straight day of more than 30 COVID-19 deaths, while fresh infections appear to be stabilising

The state reported 32,297 new cases on Wednesday, including 12,450 from rapid antigen tests.

Thirty-two people died, adding to Tuesday’s total of 36. Overall, 18 per cent of all COVID-19 deaths in NSW have been reported in the past week.

The number of COVID-19 hospital patients rose 13 to 2863, with ICU numbers up eight to 217.

“The fact that our projections are tracking under (what was expected), the fact that the numbers have stabilised, give us some hope that we have been slowing the spread,” Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant said on Tuesday.

Triple-dosed adults now sit at 27.8 per cent, while one in six children aged five to 11 have now had their first shot.

Other vaccination rates remain stable, with 81.9 per cent of the population now having received at least one dose. Children aged zero to four remain ineligible for vaccination.

Meanwhile, rapid antigen tests are being shipped to regional and rural school as officials prepare plans for the state’s 1.3 million students being tested twice-weekly.

“It’s a major logistical effort,” Education Minister Sarah Mitchell said on Seven’s Sunrise on Wednesday.

“We’re absolutely confident with our supplies coming in and getting them shipped out to schools.”

The NSW Labor opposition is calling for schools to be turned into vaccination hubs, a plan to ensure schools remain operational when teachers get sick, and advice for families in multiple languages.

“Every day the government delays implementing a plan makes it harder for parents to know what a safe return to school looks like,” Labor leader Chris Minns said.

NSW and Victoria are due to present a united schooling plan to national cabinet on Thursday.