NSW authorities are racing to track down the source of an emerging Omicron variant cluster at a western Sydney school, as COVID-19 case numbers begin to spike again.
The total number of confirmed cases with the Omicron variant in NSW has risen to 13. Results on further likely cases are due later today.
NSW has recorded 325 new COVID-19 cases and one death in the 24 hours to 8pm.
Two cases have been excluded following further investigation, bringing the total number of cases in NSW since the beginning of the pandemic to 82,648.
The one death reported today was a woman in her 50s from south western Sydney. She had received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine and had underlying health conditions.
There are currently 139 COVID-19 cases admitted to hospital, with 25 people in intensive care, eight of whom require ventilation.
Across NSW, 68,435 tests were conducted in the 24 hours to 8pm, which was down from the previous day's total of 80,930.
Of those aged 16 or older 94.6 per cent have had one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 92.7 per cent are fully vaccinated.
In the 12-15 year old age group, 81.4 per cent have received a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, and 77 per cent are fully vaccinated.
Of the 325 cases reported to 8pm last night:
- 100 are from South Western Sydney Local Health District (LHD)
- 70 are from Western Sydney LHD
- 47 are from South Eastern Sydney LHD
- 34 are from Sydney LHD
- 19 are from Northern Sydney LHD
- 14 are from Western NSW LHD
- 12 are from Hunter New England LHD
- nine are from Illawarra Shoalhaven LHD
- five are from Nepean Blue Mountains LHD
- three are from Central Coast LHD
- three are from Northern NSW LHD
- two are from Southern NSW LHD
- one is from Far West NSW LHD
- one is from Mid North Coast LHD
- one is from Murrumbidgee LHD
- and four are yet to be assigned to a LHD.
Fragments of the virus that causes COVID-19 have ben detected in sewage samples collected from Dungog, Finley, Eden, Woolgoolga, Barooga, and Curlewis where there are no recent known cases.
Meanwhile, a concerning cluster of cases at Regents Park Christian School in western Sydney has grown to 13, with three already confirmed positive for Omicron. Testing results are still to come for the other 10.
NSW Health are investigating the outbreak of COVID-19 cases at Regents Park Christian School as well as the Sydney Indoor Climbing Gym in Villawood in western Sydney.
The first student confirmed with the Omicron variant did not have any known link to southern Africa and urgent investigations are searching for the source of the cluster, NSW Health said on Friday evening.
On Friday, NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said the cases at the school "could well be an on-NSW-soil transmission".
Despite the rise in case numbers, Premier Dominic Perrottet is urging the public to instead focus on hospitalisations and ICU presentations.
"We would have expected those (case) numbers to be much higher in circumstances where we opened up our state," he said on Friday.
The jury is still out on the severity of the Omicron variant, and whether it causes a more severe disease that could overwhelm hospital systems or is merely more transmissible but potentially less dangerous.
NSW recorded 337 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, bringing the total number of cases in NSW since the beginning of the pandemic to 82,325.
As people flock to the polls for the NSW Council elections this Saturday, make your vote COVID-safe:— NSW Health (@NSWHealth) December 3, 2021
•Wear a face mask
•Bring your own pen
•Stay distanced from people in line
•Try and vote outside peak times – to avoid a queue and to avoid contact with others pic.twitter.com/Wa1AVyFx0W
- withAustralian Associated Press (AAP)