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NSW recorded 35,054 new COVID-19 cases, eight deaths in 24 hours to 8pm on January 4, 2022

Eight people have died as the daily number of new COVID-19 cases in NSW soared to more than 35,000 on Tuesday.

NSW Health figures released on Wednesday morning showed the state had 35,054 new cases in the 24 hours to 8pm on January 4 - a massive jump from 23,131 the previous day.

There were 108,884 tests conducted in the 24-hour period.

Eight more people lost their lives, 1491 were in hospital and 119 patients were in intensive care units.

The queue to get into a Newcastle testing site on Monday. Picture: Peter Lorimer

The queue to get into a Newcastle testing site on Monday. Picture: Peter Lorimer

There are 184,413 active COVID-19 cases across the state.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison will reportedly take a proposal to National Cabinet on Wednesday to subsidise the cost of rapid antigen tests for low income earners - including pensioners and welfare recipients.

Meanwhile, the Health Services Union is calling on the Morrison government to take urgent action to stop price gouging of rapid antigen tests and commit to providing free RAT kits, with reports tests are being sold for as much as $30 each.

The union's national president Gerard Hayes said it was disgraceful that private companies were exploiting the public's need for essential health supplies.

"Big retailers profiteering is no different to individuals looting during a crisis. The Prime Minister needs to step in and ensure rapid antigen tests are free and accessible to everyone who needs them," Mr Hayes said.

"Many people cannot afford to make ends meet week-to-week, let alone budget for $150 or more in rapid antigen tests for their family.

"The NSW Department of Fair Trading has already received complaints of price gouging and the Morrison government must take action immediately.

"Profiteering from RATs goes against the basic principles of free universal healthcare which Australia has prided itself on for decades."

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Hunter MP Meryl Swanson says everyone should COVID-19 seriously after she became one of the thousands of people in the region to test positive. She says she suffered severe sinus pain, sweats, a cough and extreme fatigue. Are you battling COVID-19 as well? What has your experience been like - the illness itself, the battle for a test, the long wait for results? Share your experience of COVID-19 by completing the form below:

This story Eight die as NSW records over 35,000 new cases first appeared on Newcastle Herald.