(Image: AAP/Mick Tsikas)

New daily COVID-19 cases have surged to 5612 in NSW and 2095 in Victoria while hitting the hundreds in other states. Test times have blown out, with many standing in line for hours. It is getting so bad that NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet has told Sydneysiders to avoid getting tested as a precaution.

Hospital admissions are surging, with paramedics in NSW taking up to an hour to respond to calls. Restrictions have once again been introduced and many Christmas plans have been ruined. 

The Omicron variant has shown to be anywhere between 15-80% less likely to cause hospitalisation, with a 70% lower risk of severe disease than the Delta variant. This is good news -- but news Australia still isn’t prepared for.