Another 33 Illawarra residents have tested positive for COVID-19, their infections among 1284 new locally acquired cases in NSW.
The region's new cases include 19 in Wollongong, 13 in Shellharbour and one in Kiama.
Of these, 16 are linked to other known cases and investigations continue into the rest.
There are also three new cases in the Shoalhaven local government area, which forms part of the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District with Wollongong, Shellharbour and Kiama.
The new infections were detected in the 24 hours to 8pm Thursday.
"I'd like to ask residents of the Central Coast and Illawarra, where we are seeing increasing case numbers, to please be vigilant for symptoms, please get vaccinated, please get tested," deputy chief health officer Dr Marianne Gale said yesterday.
Data from NSW Health shows there has been a steep increase in the number of cases in the Illawarra since the start of the month.
The number of cases in the Wollongong local government area during this outbreak almost doubled between September 8 and Thursday, September 16 to reach 327.
Meanwhile, Shellharbour had seen a total of 89 cases on September 10 but that climbed to 171 by Thursday.
Kiama's first case of the outbreak was detected on August 19, and it has now recorded 11 in total.
Dr Gale yesterday said NSW Heath was caring for more than 15,000 people with COVID, most of whom were still in their homes or in special health accommodation.
However, there are 1245 people being treated for COVID in hospital, including 26 residents of the Illawarra Shoalhaven LHD.
Across NSW there are 228 people in intensive care, 112 of whom are on ventilators.
NSW Health has reported the COVID-related deaths of another 12 people, aged between their 20s and their 90s, bringing the number of people who have died during this outbreak to 222.
There have been 43,779 cases of community transmission in NSW since the outbreak began on June 16, including 537 among residents of the Illawarra Shoalhaven LHD.
NSW Health has also identified more exposure sites in the Illawarra, and anyone who visited the following locations must get tested immediately and isolate until they receive a negative result.
- Dapto Convenience on the Princes Highway on Friday, September 3 from 12.05pm to 12.20pm
- Coles Fairy Meadow on Friday, September 10 from 3.30pm to 4pm
- Cronins Liquor Gerringong on Friday, September 3 from 3.35pm to 3.55pm
- Best Friends Pets Shellharbour on Sunday, September 5 from 11.17am to 11.20am
- Warrawong Accident and Medical Centre on Sunday, September 5 from 10.24am and 10.51am
- Barrack Heights Ampol on Tuesday, September 7 from 7pm to 7.05pm
- Fairy Meadow Woolworths on Monday, September 13 from 11am to 11.31am, and Thursday, September 9 from 8.57am to 9.25am
- Mitchell's Market Lake Illawarra on Tuesday, September 7 from 12.30pm to 5.30pm