News Coronavirus NSW records 9690 COVID cases and 18 deaths
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NSW records 9690 COVID cases and 18 deaths

NSW Victoria COVID-19
NSW and Victoria are expected to drop isolation rules for those living with COVID positive people. Photo: AAP
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There are 9690 new cases of COVID-19 in NSW and 18 more deaths, the fourth consecutive day NSW has recorded fewer than 10,000 cases.

The number of cases increased by 2253 from the previous 24 hours and there were four more deaths.

The number of COVID patients in hospital fell by 31 to 2068 and there are 132 people in intensive care.

Forty-four per cent of the eligible population has now had a third dose of a COVID vaccine.

Premier Dominic Perrottet said on Monday the state was now “in a very strong position”, with activity returning to the CBD and customers returning to cafes and restaurants.

He says he would “like to see people come back to the office as quickly as possible”.

Health Minister Brad Hazzard said there was a significant number of COVID-19 patients in hospital, but fewer than forecast.

Elective surgery resumed in private and non-metro public hospitals on Monday.

Opposition leader Chris Minns said the government needed to provide extra funding to clear elective surgery backlogs in public hospitals.

“We have to remember that it hasn’t been operating for weeks, so not only do you have incoming patients that need urgent work, you’ve also got seven or eight weeks’ worth of elective surgery that hasn’t taken place,” Mr Minns says.

While the premier is confident the state is now “back on the front foot”, Mr Minns warned against complacency.

“Everybody is hopeful that the Omicron wave has peaked … (but) we need to be prepared about future waves, making sure that our public hospital system is fully resourced and we can get through difficult periods.”

More than 94 per cent of people 16 and older have had two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.