In Tentatively Hopeful News, Dr Kerry Chant Has Weighed In On When NSW’s COVID Wave Will Peak

NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant has officially weighed in on when we can expect the state’s COVID-19 cases to peak.

It certainly feels like a bunch of people have been hit with COVID over the last month or so, and we’ve seen cases steadily rising across the country.

Chant has said NSW cases will peak in the “coming week or so” according to The Sydney Morning Herald.

“Then we will see a decline in cases,” she added.

This fits with previous predictions that the current COVID-19 wave will peak before Christmas. Great news for your pudding plans, I say.

What does the current COVID-19 situation look like?

NSW Health has reported 40,196 COVID-19 cases this week, a slight rise from last week. Similarly Victoria Health reported 27,790 cases in the past week — a rise of 3.4 per cent from the week prior.

Australia is currently in the midst of its fourth Omicron wave. This is thanks to what UNSW Associate Professor James Wood described as a “rich soup of Omicron descendants” in a November article for The Conversation.

A simply beautiful phrase there, like the French onion of nasty little viruses.

Wood — who works on epidemiological modelling of infectious diseases — explained the current wave is likely to be a “shorter and smaller version” of the BA.5 Omicron variant wave we saw over winter.

The national daily cases for the week of December 6 was 15,569 according to the Department of Health, an 8.5 per cent increase on last week. We can compare that to the stats just a few weeks ago to see how the sitch is changing.

For example, in the week of November 22 the average number of cases per day was 11,953 — but it was an increase of 10.7 per cent from the previous week.

As a bit of extra context, during the peak of the winter wave, cases reached a top weekly average of 47,871 per day.

So when will the current COVID-19 wave slow?

Wood initially predicted cases in NSW would peak in the first week of December. He then told The Guardian in late November he thought cases would slow by Christmas.

“I definitely expect cases to be markedly lower by Christmas,” Wood said.

“It looks like the new Omicron sub-variants are already pretty close to dominant and that rising immunity from infections and reduced transmission as we move into summer will be what pushes cases down.”

As we know from the emergence of messy binches BA.4 and BA.5 earlier this year, Omicron subvariants have been making their way around Australia.

There’s a number of different Omicron variants but two new ones have particularly triggered an increased rate of hospitalisations and COVID-19 deaths recently.

Their names are XBB and BQ.1. These two variants spread and mutate quickly — though of course, like with all variants, making sure you’re up to date with your vaccines is an essential protection.

With COVID cases still expected to increase for a lil while, it’s important to keep yourself and others safe. Make sure you’re monitoring for symptoms and deffo keep masking up wherever you’re able to.

And hopefully, just hopefully, we won’t have another COVID-y Christmas. There’s truly no coal in the stocking quite like a positive RAT before family lunch.