New South Wales has recorded its deadliest day of the pandemic today with 36 deaths and 29,830 new COVID-19 cases over the past 24 hours.
There are 2,850 people in hospital and 209 people in ICU, a slight rise from yesterday’s hospitalisation numbers.
Of today’s positive results, 13,763 were reported from rapid antigen tests and 16,037 were from PCR tests.
Premier Dominic Perrottet said the death toll marked “a very difficult day for our state” and urged residents to remember that behind each number was a grieving family.
“Our thoughts and prayers and hearts go out to all those families who have lost a loved one at this time,” Perrottet said.
“We often over the last two years become so focused on case numbers and we should not forget that behind every one of those numbers on the death toll is a loved one who has passed away.”
Full return-to-school plan on Thursday
Under a full return-to-school plan to be released on Thursday, students would be requested to take rapid antigen tests at home twice a week.
Parents would be given the rapid antigen test kits and then supervise their children’s testing before the start of class.
Perrottet said the state government received a shipment of one million rapid antigen tests yesterday and is expecting to take delivery of “millions more” this week.
The premier was insistent that schools would return to face-to-face learning as scheduled with no COVID-19 induced delays.
“We can’t let perfection be the enemy of the good and our focus is to ensure that we have kids back at school on day one,” Mr Perrottet said.
“We will ensure that we achieve that goal, that very important goal to have kids back on day one.
“I’m going to keep saying it. There will be bumps along the way. We are in a pandemic.
“Everyone around the world is dealing with those challenges.”
To help create a “buffer” for teachers, the Department of Education has contacted retired teachers and last-year university students to aid the school workforce.