A new sub-strain of the COVID Omicron variant is contributing to a jump in infections in NSW.
Acting chief health officer Marianne Gale said "The dominant sub-lineage until recently has been BA. 1, what we are seeing is an increase (in BA. 2) and we are still undertaking further analysis to try to get a better sense and a better handle on it,".
In other countries where Omicron has been spreading, the BA.2 sub-variant has become dominant. Dr Gale advised that the cases in NSW were likely to increase over the next month, or even till May.
"While the community may have gone to sleep on the virus, the virus hasn't gone to sleep in the community," Health Minister Brad Hazzard said.
As Australia begins to live with Covid, returning to work and social activities, the virus will continue to spread.
"If everybody were boosted, I wouldn't be as concerned," Mr Hazzard said. "So many people have become very relaxed and don't seem to think Omicron still exists, don't think the virus still exists. "It does. And it's out there, and it's doing his damnedest to get through the community."