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Victoria and NSW Covid updates: 74,886 new infections, students to join vaccine rollout

Victoria and NSW have recorded a combined 74,886 new Covid-19 infections as Victoria makes changes to its vaccine rollout.

Victoria recorded has 40,127 new cases and 21 Covid deaths in the past 24 hours.

In NSW 34,759 cases and 21 deaths linked to the virus were confirmed — the state’s deadliest day of the pandemic. Together the states registered 74,886 new cases.

Queensland has recorded a further 22,069 new cases of Covid-19 overnight.

Victoria’s state government has pledged to recruit more than 1000 retired and student healthcare workers in a bid to boost the state’s vaccination program.

Deputy Premier James Merlino said the scheme would remove some of the “extreme demand” currently on the healthcare system.

“We’re calling on first year health students, retired nurses and more to join an expanded workforce of Covid-19 vaccinators,” he told reporters on Tuesday.

“We’ll be targeting up to 1000 Victorians to come on-board.

“People with appropriate knowledge and experience and that you be could – applications open next week.

“Of course they’ll only be operating in well established public health run sites which have a very strong process in place to ensure this new cohort of workers are trained, supervised and supported.”

Mr Merlino also confirmed that while Victorian students will “absolutely” return on time for Term 1, nothing was off the cards for how 2022 will unfold.

“No-one is talking about lockdown. No-one is talking about remote learning. There are no guarantees,” he said.

“But we support the national framework to get kids back to school.”

There are now 946 infected people in Victorian hospitals, with 112 in intensive care and 31 on ventilators.

Victoria’s previous peak for Covid hospitalisations was 851 in October when the state was battling a surge in Delta infections.

However, the figure is dwarfed by the 2242 people in New South Wales who are in hospital with Covid.

More than 93 per cent of eligible Victorians are fully vaccinated and the state has a mammoth 209,715 active cases.

A total of 61,630 PCR tests were taken on Tuesday and 24,547 vaccines were administered at state hubs.

Daniel Andrews on Tuesday issued a grim warning about what would happen if the state removed isolation requirements and took a “let it rip” approach to Covid.

The Premier said Victoria’s already under-pressure hospitals could quickly buckle.

“We have some people that are gravely ill, some people in intensive care, but the vast majority of people are in hospital and not requiring that sort of care,” he told reporters.

“If we were to stop isolating people, if we were to stop testing, if we were to let this rip, we’ll finish up not with hundreds of people in general wards, we would finish up with thousands, and we all know what that means.

“It means every non-Covid case that requires hospitalisation won’t be able to get that care.”

Mr Andrews said fully vaccinated Victorians’ frustration at having to isolate was understandable.

“I know it’s deeply inconvenient, it’s frustrating to be double dose vaccinated and having to isolate at home,” he said.

He thanked people who were following the directions.

“It’s helping our health system, while it’s under enormous pressure, still cope with those who need important care.”

Originally published as 74,886 new infections in Victoria and NSW, students to join vaccine rollout

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