Welcome to the 9News.com.au live blog for Monday, December 27, 2021. NSW has recorded its first death with the COVID-19 Omicron variant. The state recorded 6324 new COVID-19 cases, three deaths and 521 in hospital today – a rise of more than 20 people. Victoria has recorded 1999 new COVID-19 cases and three further deaths. There are 368 people in hospital with the virus. SydPath advises 995 additional incorrect negative result text messages sent when their results had not yet been determined. Testing sites are overwhelmed again today. And an out-of-control bushfire has destroyed buildings in Western Australia.
– Hundreds turned away as COVID-19 testing chaos continues
– NSW cases top 6000 again as hospitalisation rates spike
– Victoria records 1999 new cases, three deaths as government flags test changes
– Sydney lab told almost 1000 more people they were COVID-19 negative when results had not yet been determined
– LIVE UPDATES: Boxing Day Test
Thank you for following our breaking news blog today.
Making headlines today:
NSW recorded more than 6000 new COVID-19 cases today, while hundreds were turned away from testing clinics.
A Sydney lab told almost 1000 more people they were COVID-19 negative when their results haven't been determined yet.
Victoria recorded 1999 new cases and three deaths as the state government flags testing changes.
Firefighters continue battling out-of-control bushfires throughout Western Australia as temperatures soar above 38 degrees.
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Mr McGowan said that despite the nature of the some "high-risk" exposure sites, authorities have not detected any super-spreading events.
"Given the high-risk nature of some of the exposure sites, we're expecting to see large numbers of positive cases," he said.
"But so far, we have limited the spread. And now are in reach of possibly being able to kill off this outbreak."
A total of 608 close contacts have been identified across the state that are linked to the latest outbreak, and of those, 86 per cent have so far been tested and 86 people yet to be tested.
"Of the 86 yet to be tested, 39 were patrons from the mess hall event," Mr McGowan said.
"This is something worrying, because we cannot be 100 per cent sure the Delta virus is not
lingering in the community somewhere.
"WA police are doing everything they can to track these people down, and make sure they get tested and isolate. In addition, 1089 casual contacts have been identified, 70 per cent have been tested so far, with 322 yet to be tested."
Western Australia has recorded one new local case of COVID-19 in the last day, after 4737 tests were conducted.
The positive case is a woman in her 20s who was a close contact of an unvaccinated backpacker previously detected.
She had been in hotel quarantine throughout her infectious period.
"I'd like to thank all West Australians who came forward to get tested yesterday," Mr McGown said.
"Over the last for days, more than 29,000 people have come forward to get tested, which is a good number, but it could be better."
Mr McGowan said that the fire at Perth Hills are now "contained and stationary".
"Burning embers are still of concern, with about 165 hectares having been burnt," he said.
"Ariel support is currently assisting, including a large air tanker.
"An evacuation centre has been established and some roads are still closed in parts of Wooroloo."
Mr McGowan said that at least one house has been lost in the fire, with three outbuildings "also impacted".
WA Premier Mark McGowan has described the out-of-control blazes that are wreaking havoc across the state as "unforgiving".
He said the Margaret River fire has now been contained "but not controlled" and is currently moving in a south-westerly direction.
About 100 hectares have burnt across the state at the weekend, with more than 100 firefighters working to contain the blazes.
The cause of the fire at Margaret River is currently under investigation, Mr McGowan added, with several roads still shut off to the public.
A Sydney laboratory has advised almost 1000 more people they were COVID-19 negative when in fact the results had not yet been determined.
It comes after SydPath, St Vincent's Pathology, advised more than 400 people infected with COVID-19 they were negative.
Now, a further 995 people have received an SMS from SydPath saying they were negative to the virus when the results had not been confirmed.
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