NSW COVID-19 cases continue to rise as state records three new deaths

Just a day after NSW recorded its highest COVID-19 caseload since lockdown lifted, the health department has confirmed another rise in new cases.

NSW Health on Saturday recorded 560 new cases from 82,517 tests.

It is the highest-daily tally recorded in NSW since October 9, and the second day in a row with more than 500 cases.

There are 150 COVID-19 cases in hospital, with 25 people in intensive care.

The health department also on Saturday recorded three deaths.

Health authorities are bracing for a further surge in cases fuelled by festive season celebrations.

Some 516 infections were recorded by NSW Health on Friday from more than 90,000 tests, but no new virus related deaths were reported, nor any new Omicron variant cases.

It was the highest daily tally recorded in NSW since October 9, two days before lockdown lifted.

Health authorities are already battling to contain at least two large transmission events.

“NSW Health is concerned about the increased transmission taking place in venues such as pubs, clubs, and party settings,” Dr Jeremy McAnulty said on Friday.

A trivia night at a Sydney pub sparked a new cluster of cases, with at least 46 patrons testing positive to the virus after attending the popular Oxford Tavern in Petersham on November 30.

Authorities are also concerned about 140 passengers who embarked on a Sydney Harbour cruise on Friday night which has so far resulted in five cases of the Omicron variant.

The number of people diagnosed with the Omicron variant of COVID-19 in NSW has now reached 42.

NSW Health has also issued alerts for the Golden Sheaf Hotel in Double Bay and the Albion Hotel in Parramatta.

Woody’s Surf Shack Night Club in Byron Bay has also been linked to at least three cases, while an event at the Coorabell Hall on Saturday night has resulted in 16 cases so far.

“The transmission in these types of settings is contributing to the increase in cases in NSW,” Dr McAnulty said.

“We urge people not to attend any of these social functions or venues if you have any symptoms at all, even if mild.”