Daily News Round-up

December 22, 2021

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NSW has recorded 3,763 COVID-19 cases and two deaths ahead of the national cabinet meeting convening to address the rise in infection numbers.

It is the highest number of daily COVID-19 infections recorded in any Australian jurisdiction.

Hospitalisations for COVID have risen to 302, up from 284 in the previous reporting period.

There are 40 patients in ICU, the highest level it’s been at since November 11.

Yesterday, NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard revealed close to 1,400 healthcare workers were furloughed due to COVID-19.

Victoria has recorded 1,503 new local COVID-19 cases and six deaths, as record demand for testing continues to overwhelm several sites in Melbourne.

There are 394 COVID-19 patients in Victorian hospitals, including 70 active cases in intensive care and 41 patients on a ventilator.

There are 44 patients whose infections are no longer considered active in ICU.

US President Joe Biden says more federal vaccination and testing sites will open to tackle a surge in COVID-19 cases sparked by the Omicron variant, announcing some 500 million at-home rapid tests will be available to Americans for free starting in January.

Mr Biden offered both a warning to the unvaccinated, who he said have “good reason to be concerned,” and reassurance that those who are inoculated can gather for the holidays despite the new variant sweeping the country.

“No, this is not March of 2020,” he said at the White House.

“Two hundred million people are fully vaccinated, we’re prepared, we know more.”

Striking a more dire tone about the risks to the one-in-four American adults who are not fully vaccinated, Mr Biden said those who are unvaccinated “have a significantly higher risk of ending up in the hospital or even dying”.

The measures announced on Tuesday local time include activating some 1,000 military medical personnel to support hospitals already being overwhelmed by COVID-19 patients in some areas.


The three leading female actors of the television program Sex and the City are supporting two women who allege they were sexually assaulted by Chris Noth.

In a joint statement posted to their Instagram stories, Sarah Jessica Parker, Cynthia Nixon and Kristin Davis said they were saddened by the allegations made against Noth, a co-star of their’s on the show.

Noth, 67, has denied allegations made by two women which were first published in the Hollywood Reporter last week.

The two women allege they were assaulted by North in separate incidents which were more than a decade apart.

In their joint statement, Parker, Nixon and Davis said they commended the two women for speaking up and making the allegations.

“We are deeply saddened to hear the allegations against Chris Noth,” the statement read.

“We support the women who have come forward and shared their painful experiences.

“We know it must be a very difficult thing to do and we commend them for it.”

Noth played the role of John James Preston, better known as Mr Big, in Sex and the City.

The character had renewed interest as the show’s revival program, And Just Like That, was recently released.

Mr Big died in the first episode of the reboot, before the allegations were released.

Both his accusers said the revival of the series brought back memories of the alleged attacks.

Noth released a statement denying the two allegations, saying he found it difficult to not find the timing of their release questionable.

“These stories could’ve been from 30 years ago or 30 days ago — no always means no — that is a line I did not cross. The encounters were consensual,” he said.

“It’s difficult not to question the timing of these stories coming out.

“I don’t know for certain why they are surfacing now, but I do know this: I did not assault these women.”

* Noth has been dropped from his CBS series The Equalizer as he faces sexual assault allegations.

Three women have accused the “Mr Big” actor, 67, of sexual assault in recent weeks, the US Sun reports.

CBS confirmed that Noth will no longer appear on The Equalizer in a statement on Monday.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the statement read: “Chris Noth will no longer film additional episodes of The Equalizer, effective immediately.”

Noth has been starring on the crime drama as William Bishop since its debut in February 2021.=


Sophie Monk and her fiance Joshua Gross had to be rescued by Marine Rescue NSW after a boat trip went wrong.

Love Island host Monk, 42, headed out for a day on the water on the Central Coast with her new puppy Bluey on fiance Gross’s boat.

There was just one problem – they’d forgotten to get fuel for the boat, leaving them stranded out in the water and in need of rescuing.

Monk documented the whole ordeal via her Instagram account, revealing the trip started well –

… before they realised their error and needed to call for help:

Sophie even posed with her rescuers when they made it back to shore:

Back on dry land.

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