Australia’s New South Wales state recorded 1,742 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, its highest daily total since the pandemic began.
Hospitalizations were also up across the state. There were 192 coronavirus patients in New South Wales hospitals on Thursday, up from 166 the day before. Of those, 26 were in intensive care.
The previous peak for new infections in one day in Australia’s most populous state was 1,599 on September 11.
The state’s Health Minister Brad Hazzard on Wednesday said cases are doubling every two to three days. Modeling at the University of New South Wales forecasts up to 25,000 cases per day by the end of January.
Dr. Jeremy McAnulty of New South Wales Health said a rising number of cases in the city of Newcastle should cause people to “seriously consider” postponing Christmas plans.
“Several venues and events have now seen transmission of COVID-19 and New South Wales Health again asks everyone across the community to continue to be particularly careful and practice COVID-safe behaviors,” Dr. McAnulty said.
Victoria state on Thursday recorded 1,622 new cases and nine deaths. The total was up from 1,405 cases on Wednesday and is the state’s highest since Oct. 29.
There are 384 people in hospitals, including 87 in intensive care.
The Victoria state government says 92 percent of residents aged 12 and over are now fully vaccinated.