The Omicron wave in NSW is tracking downwards with diminishing daily COVID-19 cases, fewer hospitalisations and deaths, just as the resumption of school is expected to cause a spike in numbers.
NSW Health recorded 27 more COVID deaths and 11,807 new cases on Tuesday, the lowest number this year, apart from Australia Day when 10,345 cases were recorded.
It's a drop of 1011 cases on the previous day and a stark contrast to the record-high 91,715 cases on January 13.
Premier Dominic Perrottet says sending children back to school is not negotiable, despite fears it will see case numbers rise again.
"It is hard but it is right and it is important for our children.
"There is no alternative but to push ahead," he told reporters on Wednesday.
"It will have bumps along the way and challenges as we move through this period of time with Omicron in the community."
There are 2622 COVID patients in hospital - that's down by 127 - from the previous day - and 170 people are in intensive care, 14 fewer than on Monday.
NSW Health has moved its daily cut-off for COVID-19 reporting from 8pm to 4pm, so from Thursday its 24-hour reporting cycle will be from 4pm to 4pm.
There has now been 264,463 positive rapid antigen tests recorded since compulsory reporting began on January 13.
Just 40.6 per cent of adults have had their third COVID jab, which authorities say is the best way to protect against the dominant Omicron strain.
More than 78 per cent of people aged 12-15 have had two doses of a vaccine and 40.3 per cent of children aged 5-11 have had a single dose.
Deputy Chief Health Officer Jeremy McAnulty is pushing parents to get their children vaccinated as soon as possible.
"As families across the state start the 2020 school year we are urging parents who haven't had their school aged children vaccinated against COVID-19 to do so without delay," Dr McAnulty said.
Of the 27 people who died from COVID, four were triple vaxxed, 14 had received two doses and nine were not vaccinated.
In a bid to help the hospitality industry which has been hit hard by the Omicron wave over summer, the government announced it would cover the cost of 5000 responsible service of alcohol courses.
Treasurer Matt Kean said the free courses would be available from Monday and would allow more people to get the qualifications they needed to get a job in the industry.
"The hospitality sector makes up over two per cent of total gross value added to the NSW economy and supports more than 300,000 jobs, which is why we are committed to supporting this critical industry," he said.
Australian Associated Press
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