Shit is getting real because NSW’s cases just jumped from 3,763 to 5,715 today and Premier Dominic Perrottet is set to announce the return of QR-code check-ins just one week after he scrapped them.
He is also expected to provide free rapid antigen test kits to all residents to help stem the rise of Omicron in the state.
Check-ins will be reintroduced in most settings including hospitality and retail, to assist with contact tracing.
We don’t know when exactly businesses will be required to enforce the rules but he’ll speak later today and we’ll update you then.
The announcement comes after yesterday’s emergency national cabinet meeting when practically nothing happened; no decisions were made after a day of discussions and nothing has changed *yet* but ooooo it might. Siri, play ‘Scotty Doesn’t Know‘.
Following Morrison’s speech yesterday, Perrottet has also stopped short of a mask mandate. Even though experts have been screaming for a mandate since cases started to rise steeply last week, including our own federal chief medical officer. We know how much Dom hates masks.
Perrottet said that masks in what are classed as lower-risk setting are a matter of “personal responsibility” — the same bullshit non-logic Morrison has been spraying this week.
Yesterday, after national cabinet, Morrison said it’s up to us to all take personal responsibility for our own health, kinda like wearing sunscreen to protect yourself from skin cancer, except wow I can’t give other people cancer!
QLD, Tasmania and the ACT have, however, reintroduced masks indoors this week.
NSW #COVID19 update – Thursday 23 December 2021
In the 24-hour reporting period to 8pm last night:
– 94.9% of people aged 16+ have had one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine
– 93.5% of people aged 16+ have had two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine pic.twitter.com/iy3iv4yVa6
— NSW Health (@NSWHealth) December 22, 2021
COVID test lines are also out of control at the moment, with people waiting up to eight hours for a swab and five days for results.
As we head into Christmas, a shitload of test sites are about to close. 77 per cent of all testing facilities in NSW with either close or reduce their hours between Christmas and New Years. Doesn’t seem like a great idea, but with so many healthcare workers isolating due to COVID exposure, everyone is stretched pretty thin.
In response to this unmatched demand, Perrottet is expected to look into providing all residents with free rapid antigen test kits.
PCR tests are still the most accurate and are required if you have been in contact with a positive case or are experiencing symptoms, but RATs can be used as a screening tool.
Perrottet said they would help people monitor their own symptoms.
“As we continue to reopen in a safe and measured way, this is all about expanding our arsenal as we learn to live with the virus,” Perrottet said, as reported by the ABC.
“People have come forward to get tested in record numbers, which is important to help keep people and the community safe, but we need to make sure our testing clinics are there for people who really need it.”
NSW broke its test record yesterday with 160,471 in 24 hours.
Victoria also recorded 2,005 new cases today, up from 1,503 yesterday. Tasmania, SA, and ACT have also broken their own case records.
Getty Images / Jenny Evans