A prominent Illawarra doctor said Wollongong Hospital was well resourced to deal with any surge in COVID numbers.
Dr Alan Davey-Quinn, the head of Wollongong Hospital's Intensive Care Unit, said the hospital was already meeting its short-term escalation plans' expectations.
"I think as we increase our capacity, we have a second intensive care unit ready to go, which we know we can activate within 12 hours," Dr Davey-Quinn said.
"That will give us another space to look after some of our non-COVID patients.
"Should the COVID surge increase further we have a third intensive care unit which can also be activated, which has the negative flow rooms which enable us to look after COVID patients safely."
Speaking in a video supplied by the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District , Dr Davey-Quinn added the hospital was also capable of looking after COVID patients transferred from Westmead and Liverpool hospitals.
"We were in such a good position, possibly ahead of the game when the ICU's at Westmead and Liverpool hospitals were put under extra strain following the rapid expansion of COVID-19 presentations," he said.
"As such we were able to volunteer first of all to take some of those patients to alleviate some of the backlog that was occuring within their hospitals.
"The fact that those patients were able to come here showed that our plan that we had in place was in fact the right plan and it actually works.
"We've been able to do that safely while still maintaining a capacity for our slowly increasing numbers of COVID patients in the Illawarra.
'We are pretty confident that we can not only cope with the patients we currently have in from Western Sydney but also patients in the Illawarra as they become ill with COVID, we will have the capacity to manage them as well."
But Dr Davey-Quinn said Wollongong Hospital and its staff weren't as prepared when the pandemic first hit 18 months ago.
"At this point of time the ICU is a very busy place, however the atmosphere is very calm at the moment," he said.
"This is most unlike what it was like 18 months ago during the first wave of the pandemic when the original virus hit.
"At that stage there was definitely a sense of fear amongst the staff. They were concerned whether they were going to catch COVID, take it home where they were going to become very sick with it.
"This year however it is a lot different. We have 100 per cent vaccination rates amongst our staff, so they definitely feel safer from that point of view.
"There have been no cases of transmission of COVID from a patient in ICU to a member of staff in ICU, I think within Australia.
"So I would say it is safer to be in here looking after a COVID patient then out in the community, where you don't know who's got COVID and who's around.
"So my message really to the community is go and get vaccinated."