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Australia’s most populous state reports first omicron . death

SYDNEY – The Australian state of New South Wales reported more than 6,000 new COVID-19 cases on Monday and confirmed its first death from the omicron variant.

The death was identified as a man in his 80s who was infected at an aged care facility in Sydney’s west. He is fully vaccinated but has underlying health conditions.

New South Wales, the country’s most populous state, reported 6,324 new infections on Monday, down 70 from a record number a day earlier. There are 524 people in the hospital, of which 55 are in intensive care.

The new measures went into effect in New South Wales on Monday, including a one-person limit of 2 square meters (22 square feet) in bars and restaurants and the requirement to “check in” with a QR code at locations reception point.

Health Minister Brad Hazzard said the state government is considering lifting the requirement to isolate healthcare workers after being exposed to COVID-19 because of staff shortages.

Victoria reported 1,999 new cases on Monday with three deaths.

State COVID-19 response commander Jeroen Weimar said Victoria had turned to random genomic testing for the omicron variant to better understand its spread.

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