The NSW government is downplaying a data breach after thousands of sensitive business addresses were inadvertently published online, as thousands of nurses went on strike for better pay and work conditions.
The breach was revealed as NSW recorded 8201 new COVID-19 cases and 16 more deaths and striking public hospital nurses marched on parliament.
There are 2017 more cases of the virus than reported on Monday.
Twelve men and four women died from the virus, two more than the previous day.
Three people were in their 70s, seven people were in their 80s, and six people were in their 90s.
Five of those who died were not vaccinated.
As the latest wave continues to take its toll on the health system, nurses in around 150 public hospitals hit the streets across the state, striking for the first time in nearly a decade.
A skeleton staff remains at hospitals to ensure patient safety.
Thousands of nurses rallied outside NSW Parliament House to take their message to MPs as they returned to Macquarie Street for the first sitting day of the year.
The strike came in defiance of an 11th hour ruling by the state's Industrial Relations Commission which on Monday ordered the union to refrain from industrial action.
Opposition Leader Chris Minns described the thousands-strong rally as "not so much a strike as a cry for help from ....frontline workers and nurses".
Nurses want one nurse to every four patients on each shift and a pay increase above the government's prescribed public sector offer of 2.5 per cent.
Health Minister Brad Hazzard says he's disappointed by the strike proceeding, saying the changes nurses want would cost the state about $1 billion to implement.
Mr Minns called on the government to sit down and negotiate in good faith with nurse representatives.
"Two years ago, nurses went to work even though we didn't know the long term effects of COVID-19...putting their own safety second and the public interest first," Mr Minns said.
The government is also dealing with a QR code breach where data of some 500,000 physical addresses was divulged, including sensitive sites from defence to domestic violence shelters and prisons.
The locations were collected through the NSW Customer Services Department through its QR code registration system to comply with COVID check-in protocols.
The dataset was then inadvertently made public through a government website.
Premier Dominic Perrottet said the information was "uploaded in error".
The government says it has discontinued that specific dataset, but maintains the incident is not a cyber-security breach, nor does it relate to the security or integrity of QR codes, after referring it to the state's Privacy Commissioner.
However, Mr Minns slammed the breach as "completely unacceptable".
"Leaks like this continue to happen and yet we get weak or no response from the government about why it's happened and what steps they're taking to make sure it doesn't happen again".
"All of us, me included, have provided enormous amounts of personal information to the NSW government, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic," Mr Minns said.
"We've got every right and expectation that it will be held securely by our government.
Australian Associated Press
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