Australia is facing a third-straight year of a Covid-19 Christmas peak, the latest health data has revealed. According to NSW Health statistics, the state was experiencing "moderate to high levels" of infection with sewage detections continuing to increase. The number of unplanned coronavirus-related presentations to emergency departments had also climbed to its highest point since late June. It's understood more than 5,300 positive tests were recorded in NSW last week. Similar Victorian data showed "high" viral loads in Victorian wastewater, particularly in regional areas. "Metropolitan quantitative wastewater levels have declined in recent weeks,' it read. Deaths and hospitalisations were also on the rise. "Metropolitan quantitative wastewater levels have declined in recent weeks,' it read. University of Sydney professor Julie Leask said NSW had been experiencing a wave for the past six weeks, based on hospitalisation and waste water information. "Cases are likely to keep going up ahead of Christmas,' she said. "People are now in different circulation patterns with Christmas parties and gatherings that can also impact the spread of infections." It comes after a new generation of booster shots, known as monovalent Omicron XBB 1.5 vaccines, were made available to the Australian public. "The surge is a little lower than what we saw during the winter," she said. The new vaccines target the Omicron subvariant XBB 1.5, known unofficially as the "Kraken" and are manufactured by Moderna and Pfizer. According to federal data, more than 69.3 million vaccine doses have been administered since the beginning of the pandemic. Prof Leask encouraged eligible people to get the new booster, wear masks in public and maintain social distance if required. "I know it may be difficult if you've got Christmas activities you're looking forward to, but it's important to isolate yourself for the first five days of the infection," she said. "If you're eligible for antivirals, try and access them in the first couple of days of infection."