COVID updates: Coronavirus cases continue to rise, a slight drop in state ICU figures and NSW reaches a vaccine milestone – ABC News

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Here's a quick wrap of what's happened in COVID news on Saturday to get you up to speed fast.
You can jump to the COVID-19 stories you want to read by clicking below.
There were 6,288 new COVID-19 infections recorded in NSW in the 24 hours to 8pm on Friday.
The state recorded no deaths, with 388 patients in hospital with the virus.
There are 52 people currently in intensive care, one less than the previous day.
NSW has also reported 95 per cent of residents aged 16 and over have got their first vaccine shot.
Read the story here.
This data shows how Australia is faring in the fight to contain the spread of coronavirus.
Victoria has announced a further 2,108 COVID-19 infections on Saturday, with six more people dying with the virus. 
There are now 17,599 active cases in the state.
Victoria's Health Department says 92 per cent of residents aged 12 and over have received both COVID-19 vaccinations. 
There are 361 people in hospital, 112 of them are in intensive care — three less than yesterday's total.
There are 42 patients in hospital on ventilators.
Read the story here
Queensland's Health Minister Yvette D'Ath said there had been a further 765 new cases recorded in Queensland. 
There were 33,971 tests recorded, and there are now 2,147 active cases in the state.
There are only five people being treated in hospital due to mild and moderate symptoms from the virus.
A person who was being treated in an intensive care unit has now been moved out.
There has been 90.36 per cent of eligible Queenslanders aged 16 and over who have received one COVID-19 vaccine dose and 85.88 per cent are double vaccinated.
Read the story here
Two new local COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in Western Australia, with both cases linked to the French backpacker who arrived in Perth from Queensland earlier this month.
The two new cases bring the total number of locally acquired cases in the state to seven.
WA Health says all cases related to this outbreak are assumed to be Delta.
Two other cases were also reported overnight related to overseas travel. Both are in hotel quarantine.
There are now 18 active confirmed cases in WA, 15 in quarantine hotels and three in self quarantine.
Hundreds of COVID-19 casual contacts were forced into isolation over Christmas and New Year after WA authorities announced five community cases yesterday.
Meanwhile, Queensland and South Australia have been listed as high risk from today. 
Only approved travellers will be allowed into the state.
South Australia has recorded 634 new cases of COVID-19, with two people currently in ICU. 
According to the Department of Health and Wellbeing, there are 2,469 active cases in SA, including 40 cases in the Norwood cluster. 
Twelve South Australians are in hospital due to COVID-19, including one person who is being ventilated. 
South Australia's vaccination rate is currently 92.2 per cent (12+) first dose and 87.3 per cent (12+) second dose.
An aged care home in Adelaide's north-eastern suburbs is urgently seeking staff over the holidays as "at least 20 residents" test positive for COVID-19 and paramedics are called in to work at the facility.
The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) SA Branch posted a job advertisement for Bene Italian Village in St Agnes, saying the COVID-19 outbreak had forced many of the facility's workers into isolation.
The ANMF said it was in desperate need of registered nurses, enrolled nurses and care workers to cover shifts over the holiday period.
The state's Ambulance Employee Association (AEA) said paramedics were asked to fill in for staff at the facility on Christmas Eve.
"This is completely unprecedented. There's never before been a time where paramedics have been requested to assist with nursing duties," AEA SA industrial officer Josh Karpowicz said.
Thirty-three new COVID-19 infections have been recorded in Tasmania. 
There are now 113 active cases in the state.
Tasmania's Department of Health says there is one person in hospital with COVID-19, but they were administered for a different medical condition.
Of the state's residents aged 12 and over, 91.35 per cent have had both COVID-19 vaccine shots.
Extra COVID-19 protocols are being introduced at the Royal Hobart Hospital after a staff member tested positive for the virus.
Public health officials said an incident management team had been formed to prioritise the testing of staff and patients who may have been exposed to the positive case.
"All employees at the RHH have received at least two doses of a COVID-19 vaccination," the statement said.
"These factors significantly minimise the risk of exposure and transmission."
There are 19 new cases of COVID-19 in the Northern Territory according to health authorities.
Eight cases are from Tennant Creek and are linked to the NT outbreak, bringing the total number of cases to 140.
All are being assessed at the Tennant Creek Hospital.
Ten of the new positive cases are in interstate arrivals and are not connected to the NT outbreak.
One case is a staff member from the Royal Darwin Hospital who was in the community during their infectious period.
Health authorities said the staff member was triple vaccinated, asymptomatic, and followed all appropriate mask protocols.
Read this story here.
The ACT has recorded 142 new COVID-19 cases.
The new cases were detected in the 24 hours leading up to 8pm yesterday.
The UK reported another day of record COVID-19 cases on Friday, with new estimates showing swathes of London's population are carrying the virus.
Omicron's rapid spread has driven a surge in cases over the last seven days, especially in the capital.
Around 1 in 20 Londoners likely had COVID-19 on December 16 and early estimates — which could yet be revised — suggest this may have risen to 1 in 10 on Sunday, models from the Office for National Statistics show.
Government data showed 122,186 new cases, up from 119,789 on Thursday and marking the third day of cases in excess of 100,000.
France hit another COVID-19 infection record on Friday, with the daily figure getting close to 100,000, a trend that prompted the government to convene a special meeting on the pandemic on Monday which could trigger new restrictions on movement.
Health authorities reported 94,124 new daily COVID-19 cases on Friday while the number of people hospitalised reached a seven-month high at close to 16,200, according to official data.
The seven-day moving average of new cases, which evens out weekly data reporting irregularities, also reached a new record of 66,417, a total that has tripled in just one month.
The number of COVID-19 related deaths climbed by 167, bringing the total to 122,462.
France's total number of cases since the outbreak of the pandemic stands at 8.98 million, the seventh highest in the world.
Globally, at least 2,366 flights were cancelled and nearly 9,000 more were delayed on Christmas Eve, according to a running tally on the flight-tracking website
The website showed that 1,616 Christmas Day flights were called off worldwide, along with 365 more that had been scheduled for Sunday.
Airlines said they were experiencing staff shortages as COVID-19 infections surge. 
Yesterday, Sydney Airport said at least 80 flights were cancelled because airline workers had been forced to isolate after being identified as close contacts of COVID cases. 
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AEST = Australian Eastern Standard Time which is 10 hours ahead of GMT (Greenwich Mean Time)


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