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NSW records 6,288 and no deaths

NSW recorded more than 6,000 new cases of COVID-19 within 24 hours to 8 p.m. Friday.(AAP: Bianca De Marchi)

There were 6,288 new COVID-19 infections recorded in New South Wales within 24 hours to 8 p.m. on Friday.

The state has recorded no deaths, with 388 patients hospitalized with the virus.

There are 52 people currently in intensive care, one less than the day before.

NSW also reported that 95% of residents aged 16 and older received their first vaccine.

Read the story here.

Victoria records 2,108 new cases and six deaths

Victoria announced 2,108 other COVID-19 infections on Saturday, along with six more people who died from the virus.

There are now 17,599 active cases in the state.

The Victoria Department of Health says 92% of residents aged 12 and over have received both COVID-19 vaccines.

There are 361 people hospitalized, 112 of them are in intensive care.

There are 42 patients hospitalized on ventilators.

Read the story here.

Queensland announces new daily record of 765 cases

Queensland Minister of Health Yvette D’Ath said there had been 765 additional new cases recorded in Queensland.

There have been 33,971 recorded tests and there are now 2,147 active cases in the state.

There are only five people treated in the hospital due to mild and moderate symptoms of the virus.

A person who was treated in an intensive care unit has now been displaced.

There were 90.36% of eligible Queenslanders aged 16 and over who received a dose of COVID-19 vaccine and 85.88% are double vaccinated.

Read the story here.

Hundreds of people in Washington spend Christmas in isolation

Hundreds of casual COVID-19 contacts have been forced into isolation over Christmas and New Years after Western Australia announced five community cases on Friday.

One of the five is close contact from a French backpacker who tested positive on Thursday, and four are casual contacts from an event at Perth Mess Hall in Northbridge on Sunday.

Given the infections among casual contacts, Premier Mark McGowan revealed that 400 people who attended the event would need to be tested and isolated for 14 days from the exposure.

This means the group – including 100 people from one of the Fremantle backpackers – will be in quarantine until January 3.


Two of the five new cases are vaccinated, two are not and the vaccination status of the other is unclear, McGowan said on Friday.

Meanwhile, Queensland and South Australia have been listed as high risk as of today.

Only approved travelers will be allowed to enter the state.

Tasmania registers 33 new cases

Thirty-three new COVID-19 infections have been recorded in Tasmania.

There are now 113 active cases in the state.

The Tasmanian Department of Health says there is a person in the hospital with COVID-19, but they were administered for a different medical condition.

Among state residents aged 12 and older, 91.35% have received both COVID-19 vaccines.

Pathology lab staff looking at a screen
A staff member at the Royal Hobart Hospital has tested positive for COVID-19.(ABC News: Luke Bowden)

Additional COVID-19 protocols are introduced at Royal Hobart Hospital after a staff member tests positive for the virus.

Public health officials said an incident management team had been formed to prioritize testing of staff and patients who may have been exposed to the positive case.

“All RHH employees have received at least two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine,” the statement read.

“These factors dramatically minimize the risk of exposure and transmission.”

Reports suggest one in 20 Londoners may have COVID-19

People cross Westminster Bridge, past a brightly lit store
The UK has seen its biggest daily increase in COVID-19 cases.(Reuters: Henry Nicholls)

The UK reported another day of record-breaking COVID-19 cases on Friday, with new estimates showing that entire swathes of London’s population carry the virus.

The rapid spread of Omicron has led to an increase in cases over the past seven days, particularly in the capital.

About 1 in 20 Londoners likely had COVID-19 on December 16, and early estimates – which could still be revised – suggest this may have risen to 1 in 10 on Sunday, according to Office for National Statistics models.

Government data showed 122,186 new cases, up from 119,789 on Thursday and marking the third day of more than 100,000 cases.

France records its largest daily increase in infections

Two women wearing masks walk in front of the Eiffel Tower
More than 94,000 new COVID-19 infections were recorded in France on Friday.(AP: Christophe Ena)

France hit a new COVID-19 infection record on Friday, with a daily figure close to 100,000, a trend that prompted the government to call a special meeting on Monday on the pandemic that could trigger further restrictions on movement.

Health officials reported 94,124 new daily cases of COVID-19 on Friday as the number of people hospitalized peaked in seven months at nearly 16,200, according to official data.

The seven-day moving average of new cases, which equalizes weekly data reporting irregularities, also hit a new high of 66,417, a total that tripled in just one month.

The number of COVID-19-related deaths increased by 167, bringing the total to 122,462.

The total number of cases in France since the start of the pandemic stands at 8.98 million, the seventh highest in the world.

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