You’ve really gotta feel for New South Wales healthcare workers right now. With the state recording 95,764 positive cases over the past seven days compared with 34,569 cases the previous week, hospital staff are under immense pressure to deal with the rising number of patients that today reached over 1,000.

The news comes just days after the PM announced drastic changes to how Australia will define “close contact” in a deliberate attempt to decrease the number of people being described as such.

John Kaldor is an epidemiologist at the Kirby Insitute and told the Sydney Morning Herald that it’s difficult to know what the peak in hospitalisations will be in Australia’s most populous state.

“Even though the COVID patients are not as sick as they were with Delta and there are less in ICU, they’re still taking up beds, they still need nurses to look after them,” he said.

“We’re still probably a few weeks out from knowing how this is going to unfold.”

The SMH also noted that COVID related hospitalisations in NSW hospitals have risen five-fold since the beginning of December and had doubled in the time between Christmas day and News Years Day.

Yesterday, PEDESTRIAN.TV reported on the state’s rule changes surrounding healthcare worker close contact requirements. Under the new guidelines, an asymptomatic hospital worker can come out of isolation early for the purpose of returning to work.

The reason for this change was because hospitals have been facing short staffing issues since much of their workforce has been forced to isolate due to being a close contact or from having COVID themselves.

Late yesterday afternoon we also covered how leaked emails from two hospitals describing how dire the situation is. The hospitals are planning to fly nurses in from overseas to manage the growing lack of staff.

In the meantime, help out our healthcare worker mates by chucking a mask on, getting tested and signing in.