Latest respiratory surveillance report summary
Summary of epidemiological fortnight ending 10 February 2024
COVID-19 activity has decreased for some indicators, such as laboratory notifications and emergency department presentations, but sewage surveillance indicates community transmission remains high. COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test positivity at sentinel laboratories was 14.3%. Influenza activity is low with PCR test positivity at 4.0%. RSV activity increased in the past fortnight and PCR test positivity was 3.3%.
Data sources and methods
NSW Health continually reviews the methods used to monitor respiratory virus activity in New South Wales. This is due to the changes in testing, notification patterns and levels of respiratory virus, including COVID-19, in the community. These changes affect the usefulness of notifications for monitoring virus activity and community transmission over time. The Public Health, Rapid, Emergency and Syndromic Surveillance (PHREDSS) data, COVID-19 sewage surveillance program, whole genome sequencing (WGS) data and sentinel laboratory respiratory virus test results are currently of most value for monitoring COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses of importance in the community. Registration of positive COVID-19 rapid antigen tests (RAT) in NSW ceased on 30 September 2023 and notifications now only reflect cases referred by a doctor for PCR. NSW Health also monitors COVID-19 outbreaks in residential aged-care facilities which are published by the Australian Government and COVID-19 antiviral prescriptions dispensed in NSW.
The data source for this report updates as new information becomes available. Therefore, this report cannot be directly compared to previous versions of the NSW Respiratory Surveillance Report or to previous reporting periods. For additional information on the data sources and methods presented within this report please refer to the COVID-19 surveillance report data sources and methodology.
Get tested and stay home
Protect yourself and those around you by getting tested, and stay home if you feel unwell. Even if you only have mild symptoms, you could pass COVID-19 on to someone more vulnerable.