Two Wollongong residents are among 233 new locally acquired COVID-19 cases detected in NSW.
They are the first cases uncovered in the Illawarra in six days, and the pair are linked.
The first case is isolating at home and while investigations into the source of their infection continue, it is believed there are links to employment in the Sydney area.
The second person is a close contact of this first case, and they are also isolating at home.
Case data shows these people are residents of Berkeley.
Tragically, it was confirmed on Wednesday that two people with COVID-19 died the previous day - one a man in his 20s, who died at home in south-west Sydney, where he had been isolating.
Chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant said the man's condition deteriorated quickly, and his death had been reported to the coroner.
A woman in her 80s from Sydney's inner west died in hospital.
There are 286 people in hospital with COVID, 53 are in intensive care, and 23 of these patients require ventilation.
There is one Illawarra resident being treated for COVID in Wollongong Hospital, but they are not in intensive care.
But the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District has offered its assistance in caring for COVID patients from other health districts, if required.
"Wollongong Hospital has significantly enhanced the capacity of its COVID-19 ward and intensive care unit with new infrastructure, equipment and critical care workforce capability over the past 18 months, and is in the strongest position to care for COVID-19 patients from within our district, and beyond," the district's chief executive Margot Mains said.
"We are all incredibly passionate about ensuring resources are utilised by people who need them most right now, regardless of their address.
"We also know that should our community find itself in need of similar support, our neighbouring LHDs would reciprocate."
Meanwhile, Woolworths Figtree has been identified as a new exposure site.
Anyone who visited the supermarket between 12.30pm and 1pm on Tuesday, July 27 is considered a casual contact.
They must get tested immediately and isolate until they receive a negative result.
The new cases in NSW, reported in the 24 hours to 8pm on Tuesday, mean 1489 cases have been recorded in a week.
"I actually think they will get worse," Premier Gladys Berejiklian said.
"If you look at the number of people infectious in the community, it indicates that perhaps we haven't reached our peak."
She said mobility data showed fewer people were moving than during Victoria's 2020 winter lockdown, but NSW was facing a more contagious virus strain.
Facing questions about why Bunnings and other retailers were still open, the premier said restrictions were the harshest the nation had seen and the list of authorised workers was "very small".
Sixty-eight of the new cases are known to have been in the community for at least part of their infectious period, while the status of 73 people remains under investigation.
Health authorities are still working to determine the source of infection for 130 of the new cases.
- With AAP
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