NSW has recorded a huge jump in new COVID-19 cases, almost doubling in a day, as the virus claimed another three lives.
The state had 11,201 new cases in the 24 hours to 8pm on Tuesday, according to the latest NSW Health figures, up from 6062 in the previous 24-hour period.
Three people died, while 625 patients were in hospital and 61 were in intensive care.
The number of tests in the 24-hour period also soared - 157,758 to 8pm Tuesday compared with 93,581 the previous day.
NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet says it's "incredibly pleasing" that the state still has strong capacity in hospitals and intensive care units, thanks to a high vaccination rate, and boosters for those eligible.
"The overwhelming majority of those in ICU are unvaccinated," Mr Perrottet says.
The total number of active cases across the state sits at 61,332.
More than 4.3 million doses of vaccine have been administered since February 22 - 5761 of those in the 24 hours to 8pm Tuesday.
So far, 93.5 per cent of people aged 16 years and older have had two doses, while 78.5 per cent of people aged 12 to 15 are double-vaxxed.
The Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia president Lawrie Bott says laboratories are dealing with a previously unimaginable level of testing.
The equipment and expertise of the profession are not easily or quickly scaled up, and priority needs to go to patients who are unwell.
While rapid antigen tests can be useful, "PCR testing remains the most accurate test for COVID-19 and the only test that public health authorities can rely upon for the diagnosis of COVID-19 infection," Dr Bott says.
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