The weekend has seen 139 new cases of COVID-19 reported across the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District, including a record daily increase in infections.
In the 24 hours to 8pm Friday 75 residents tested positive for the virus: 47 Wollongong residents, 17 from Shellharbour, two from Kiama, and nine from Shoalhaven.
The following day another 64 cases emerged in the Illawarra Shoalhaven LHD, including 39 in Wollongong, 18 in Shellharbour, and seven in Shoalhaven.
Investigations continue into the source of infection for 90 of the new cases reported at the weekend, with 49 already linked to other known cases.
Health authorities confirmed 2414 new locally acquired COVID infections in NSW across the two days, with 1331 in the 24 hours to Friday night and 1083 to 8pm Saturday.
The latter figure represents the lowest daily increase in cases the state has seen in three weeks, but the number of tests conducted also dropped below 100,000 for the first time since August 9.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said on Sunday that it was too early to call whether the state had already reached the peak of infections, but the signs were looking good.
But Wollongong MP Paul Scully said the spike in cases in the Illawarra over the past several days should be ringing alarm bells for the state government.
"Such a rapid increase should signal to the government that it needs to take the situation in Wollongong far more seriously," Mr Scully said.
"The situation has not been helped by the Berejiklian government's confused approach to the Illawarra.
"Splitting our region and having Wollongong remain part of the 'Greater Sydney' designation means Wollongong is overlooked in the Sydney response and ignored in the regional effort."
Mr Scully said Wollongong had a slower vaccine take-up than other areas, because of delays in increasing the allocation of doses.
He echoed the calls of his Labor colleague and Keira MP Ryan Park to assign more vaccines to the region.
Read more: Moderna vaccine coming to the Illawarra
"No longer is it good enough to be able to book a vaccination in a centre in a Sydney suburbs with a vaccine rate over 80 per cent while bookings can often not be found in Wollongong until late October or November," Mr Scully said.
Meanwhile, Ms Berejiklian has announced that public outdoor pools will be permitted to reopen from next Monday, September 27.
The 12 local government areas of concern are moving to the same restrictions as the rest of Greater Sydney today, save for the rules around authorised workers and permits.
More exposure sites have emerged in the Illawarra.
Anyone who attended Coles Warrawong between 6am and noon on Wednesday, September 8, Thursday, September 9 or Friday, September 10 must get tested immediately.
However, those with no symptoms do not have to isolate while they await their result.
A person with COVID also visited Wild Patch Cafe in Manning Street, Kiama on Saturday, September 11 between 7.25am and 7.35am, and Sunday, September 12 from 8.50am to 9am.
Anyone who was there at those times needs to get tested immediately and self-isolate until they receive a negative result.
Woolworths has advised that an employee at its Warilla store has acquired COVID and last worked from 9.15am to 1.45pm on both Thursday, September 9 and Friday, September 10.
Police have also alleged a COVID-positive man attended the Wollongong store on Saturday morning.
NAB said a third-party contractor that visited branches in Wollongong, Shellharbour, Kiama and Tahmoor, among others, had tested positive for COVID.
Bourke Street Burgers in North Wollongong said a person with COVID attended their venue between 7pm and 10pm on Friday, September 17, while Seafood Brothers at Figtree Grove advised of a customer who tested positive for COVID at their shop on Saturday, September 4 between 1.30pm and 2pm.
However, NSW Health has not yet issued any advice regarding these sites.