New South Wales reports 268 new COVID-19 cases and two virus-related deaths

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New South Wales has reported another decline in new COVID-19 cases as the state looks to trial rapid antigen tests in schools.

There were 268 new local cases of COVID-19 reported on Friday and two virus-related deaths.

Some 93.4 per cent of the eligible population is fully vaccinated while 86.5 per cent are fully inoculated.

There are 363 people with COVID in hospital, including 80 in ICU.

NSW Health says it will provide more details on the cases later in the morning.

It comes as the government plans to introduce coronavirus rapid test kits in all state schools, if a trial is successful.

A pilot program for the rapid antigen home testing kits will begin in the town of Albury, near the Victorian border, next week.

“I want to see disruption to our students’ education from COVID reduce, while still keeping schools safe places to learn,” Education Minister Sarah Mitchell said on Friday.

“This requires us to deploy every tool available to balance the risk.”

If the measure is successful, it could slash the length of school closures due to a COVID case in half.

This is a developing story. More to come.

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