Australia’s third wave of COVID-19 seems to be upon us because cases are rising nationwide, as predicted. Hospitals are increasingly overwhelmed, deaths are rising and Federal Health Minister Mark Butler said last week “millions” of Aussies could become infected in the coming weeks as the peak is still yet to come. So how bad is it?

It’s time for an old fashioned COVID update à la 2020.

Note: this time around case numbers need to be taken with a chunk of salt because the real numbers are probably much higher. In fact experts reckon the reported numbers by health officials could be less than half the actual numbers.

Back in the day COVID case numbers were reported through PCR results only so they were a *fairly* accurate representation of the virus’s spread. Most people today, however, use RATs and although they are legally required to register their positive result, no doubt plenty don’t.

Hospitalisation and death numbers are what health officials look at more now.

COVID-19 overview

There are an estimated 328,080 active COVID cases in Australia. Like, wow.

Our peak in January was much higher but this was also at a time when people relied on PCRs ‘cos our government didn’t order enough RATs, haha. The July graphs show cases climbing once again.

Hospitalisations peaked in Australia on Jan 25, 2022 when more than 5,300 people were admitted with COVID-19 symptoms. The latest data from July 16 showed 4,606 people were in hospital with COVID. This is highly not good.

Let’s break this down state by state and start with the very bad.

New South Wales COVID-19 numbers

NSW recorded 9,761 new cases in the 24 hours before 9am Monday and there were a whopping 141,508 active cases in the state.

There were 2,619 people in hospital with COVID in the state and 64 in the ICU. Five people died.

The state accounts for almost half of the country’s total hospitalisations.

Victoria COVID-19 numbers

Victoria recorded 10,251 new cases on Monday which means there were 64,365 active cases in the state. 821 people were in hospital and 35 were on ventilators. 18 people died.

Queensland COVID-19 numbers

Queensland recorded 6,682 new cases in the 24 hours before Monday and there were 49,359 active cases. 914 people were in hospital with COVID and 18 were in intensive care.

South Australia COVID-19 numbers

The latest SA data available at the time this article was published was from 12pm Sunday July 17. 3,863 new cases were recorded in the 24 hours prior, making the total number of active cases for the state 28,120.

287 people were in hospital with COVID and nine in the ICU. Three lives were lost.

Western Australia COVID-19 numbers

858 new COVID cases were recorded in WA on Sunday. There were 36,673 active cases in the state.

377 people were in hospital with COVID on Sunday and a devastaing 60 people died in the previous 24 hours.

Northern Territory COVID-19 numbers

The NT clocked 3,031 active cases in the state on Sunday with 463 new cases reported in the previous 24-hour period.

Thankfully just 42 people were in hospital with COVID and only one in intensive care with no deaths recorded that day.

Tasmania COVID-19 numbers

Tassie had 10,411 active cases on Sunday with 1,410 recorded in the previous 24-hour period.

152 people were in a public hospital (Tassie only records public hospital data) with COVID and only one in the ICU. No deaths were reported.

ACT COVID-19 numbers

ACT had 7,165 active cases of COVID-19 on Sunday and 956 cases recorded in the previous 24 hours.

No deaths were reported on Sunday but 167 peope were in hospital — six in the ICU.

With all this said, please for the love of Christ be COVID safe. Wear a mask if you’re in a crowded place, get your first or second booster if you’re eligible and if your throat is scratchy do not go to the club.

Image: Getty Images / Graham Denholm