The smoke has cleared but new figures reveal the impact of poor air quality across the region during the recent devastating bushfires.
From January 6 to February 2, a total of 788 people presented to emergency departments with asthma and breathing problems across the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District.
That was a 15 per cent increase, compared with the five-year average of 688 presentations for that period.
There were an additional 100 presentations to EDs across the region the week prior - December 30 to January 5 - which included the catastrophic fire days of New Year's Eve and January 4.
That was double the average number of emergency presentations for that week - and included a dozen presentations specifically for smoke inhalation.
However an ISLHD spokeswoman said it was important to note that the overall figures represented all respiratory related ED presentations - and were not broken down into smoke-related presentations.
Yet there were several days when air quality across the region was at 'hazardous' levels on the state government's air quality index due to smoke from bushfires on the South Coast and Southern Highlands.
Regular health alerts were issued by the government, stressing that those with asthma and other respiratory conditions should take precautions.
"NSW Health has distributed one million Commonwealth-provided P2 masks to hospitals, health services, recovery and evacuation centres, and community pharmacies in bushfire affected areas," the spokeswoman said.
"Members of the public have been advised to collect masks from their local pharmacies, subject to availability."
She said the supply of masks provided to hospitals within the local health district were used for those patients with chronic or acute conditions requiring additional protection.
The spokeswoman wouldn't confirm if there'd been additional demand for masks given fears around the spread of novel coronavirus.
"The district has personal protective equipment, including masks, available for staff and patients to respond to any infectious disease or environmental hazards as required," she said.
The World Health Organisation advises that if people are healthy, they only need to wear a mask if taking care of a person suspected to be infected with coronavirus.
As at 3pm today, the number of confirmed cases in NSW remained at four.