News Coronavirus Sydney’s surging COVID cases put focus on Christmas parties

Sydney’s surging COVID cases put focus on Christmas parties

'Tis the season to be jolly - and to be wary of the mutant Omicron strain. Photo: Getty
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NSW has recorded 560 new COVID-19 infections and three deaths, as the number of daily cases continues to surge.

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

Health authorities are concerned festive season celebrations are driving the spike in cases, and are urging caution.

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

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

NSW Health is already battling to contain several large transmission events.

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 Oxford Tavern in Petersham on November 30.

Authorities are also concerned about 140 passengers who embarked on a Friday night cruise on Sydney Harbour 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 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.

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