More than 4,000 COVID-19 cases in a single day have been recorded in Australia for the first time, with major outbreaks at a Victorian school camp and a school jaunt in New South Wales.
As of Saturday, there were 4,110 new infections with NSW recording 2,482 cases, the highest number for a state or territory since the start of the pandemic.
In New South Wales, a handful of positive cases at a Byron Bay trailer park have forced dozens of guests – including school children – to self-isolate inside their trailers and cabins.
In Victoria, an outbreak at Camp Rumbug in south Gippsland that started last week has grown to around 50 cases in two schools in Melbourne, with hundreds forced into isolation.
The epidemics, which began a week before Christmas, have upset travel plans.
Victoria added 1,504 more cases on Saturday, with the number rising rapidly in recent days.
They are also on the rise in other parts of the country, with 73 new local cases in South Australia on Saturday, 31 in Queensland, 18 in ACT and four in Tasmania.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said people need to be careful not to alarm when discussing the number of cases.
“We are past the time when we only talk about case numbers. It’s a leading indicator on some issues, but the real issue is how many people have serious illnesses, ”he told reporters in Hobart on Saturday.
There are 384 hospital patients in Victoria and 206 in NSW.
Authorities maintain there will be enough vaccines to meet demand for boosters, as well as vaccines for children aged five to 11, which will be available from January.
More than one million Australians have received a third booster.