Wollongong has experienced its largest reported increase in new COVID-19 cases of the pandemic, with 50 infections recorded within 24 hours.
They were among 65 residents within the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District's footprint who tested positive for COVID-19 in the day to 8pm Wednesday.
There were also 12 new cases in the Shellharbour local government area, two in Kiama, and one in Shoalhaven.
They bring the number of cases in the local health district since this outbreak began to 898, with a total of 1065 residents having acquired the virus since the start of the pandemic (128 of whom were infected overseas).
Statewide, there were 1063 new cases of community transmission reported on Thursday and another six COVID deaths, four women and two men aged from their 50s to their 90s.
Hospitals in NSW are treating 1244 people with COVID, including 233 people in intensive care, 112 of whom are on ventilators.
Among them are 19 people living in the Illawarra Shoalhaven LHD.
Deputy chief health officer Dr Marianne Gale said 179 of the ICU patients were unvaccinated.
Almost 84 per cent of the state's over-16 population have now had at least one dose of the COVID vaccine, while 55.5 per cent are fully vaccinated.
With the state approaching the 70 per cent double vaccination rate - and the associated loosening of restrictions for those who have had two doses - it remains unclear whether vaccinated people will continue to have to isolate for 14 days if they are deemed a close contact of a COVID case.
"We're working through those issues at the moment with the public health team, we're trying to work out exactly how that would be managed," Health Minister Brad Hazzard said.
Dr Gale added that they were considering different options and looking at the experiences of other countries.
Mr Hazzard said there would also be changes to quarantine for returned overseas travellers.
"Certainly there are discussions going on about how we deal with the quarantine arrangements," Mr Hazzard said. "Quarantine arrangements at the moment are very onerous."