Illawarra COVID case numbers have dropped to 28, with 17 recorded in Wollongong and 11 in Shellharbour as the region began opening up to fully vaccinated residents on Monday.
Of the local cases, eight Wollongong cases are linked to a known case, with five cases in the 2530 postcode, four in 2502, two each in 2500 and 2515, and one each in 2505, 2506, 2518 and 2525.
In Shellharbour, three cases are linked, with six cases in the 2527 postcode, three in 2528 and two in 2529.
The Shoalhaven recorded 10 cases, one of them linked, while no new cases were uncovered in Kiama.
There have now been 2101 local cases of COVID-19 in the Illawarra Shoalhaven LHD since the start of the current outbreak in June.
Across the state, there have been eight deaths and 496 new cases to 8pm last night.
There are 769 COVID-19 cases in hospital, with 153 people in intensive care, 71 of whom require ventilation.
Two cases were acquired overseas while 83,498 tests were conducted in the past 24 hours, compared with the previous day's total of 86,155.
Of the eight deaths six were men and two were women.
One person was in their 40s, one in their 50s, three in their 60s, one in their 70s, one in their 80s, and one in their 90s.
Four people were from western Sydney, two from south western Sydney, one from Sydney's north shore, and one from Sydney's inner west.
A woman in her 90s from south western Sydney died at Liverpool Hospital. She had received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine and had underlying health conditions. She was a resident of the Allity Beechwood Aged Care Facility in Revesby, where she acquired her infection. It is the sixth death linked to an outbreak at this facility.
There have been 439 COVID-19 related deaths in NSW since June 16, and 495 in total since the start of the pandemic.
Of the new cases:
- 113 are from South Western Sydney Local Health District (LHD),
- 82 are from Hunter New England LHD,
- 94 are from Western Sydney LHD,
- 38 are from Illawarra Shoalhaven LHD,
- 36 are from Sydney LHD,
- 42 are from South Eastern Sydney LHD,
- 23 are from Nepean Blue Mountains LHD,
- 21 are from Central Coast LHD,
- 6 are from Southern NSW LHD,
- 13 are from Western NSW LHD,
- 13 are from Northern Sydney LHD,
- five are from Mid North Coast LHD,
- four are from Northern NSW LHD,
- four are from Far West LHD,
- one is in a correctional setting and
- one is from Murrumbidgee LHD.
The state has reached 90.3 per cent of those aged 16 years and older with one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine while 73.5 per cent are fully vaccinated.
NSW has taken its first steps towards re-opening today as it celebrates the easing of restrictions from hitting the 70 per cent double dose vaccination rate.
NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet said it has been a difficult 100 days but the efforts of NSW residents had made today's easing restrictions possible.
He said there would be challenges and teething issues, and asked residents to be patient.
"This is incredibly important for the economy," he said.
Mr Perrottet said cases and hospitalisations would increase but the state needs to learn to live with COVID.
"NSW you've earned it, enjoy it," he said.
Mr Perrottet wants the NSW-Victorian border open 'as quickly as possible' and believes the Victorian government is in agreement.
Mr Perrottet said he spoke to Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews on the weekend about the border closure.
"We want to work very closely together on it," he said.
"They're obviously a few weeks behind us, their case numbers are still higher, our roadmaps are similar whilst theirs is slightly more conservative than ours.
"But I don't think they will be too far behind and I want to have that Victorian-NSW border open as quickly as possible and so does the Victorian Premier.
"But their main focus at the moment, and clearly needs to be, [is] they're dealing with what we were dealing with just a few weeks ago and I wish them well."
Mr Perrottet said when Victoria was in a similar position to NSW's current position, he hoped to see the border reopen.
He said discussions had started.
While NSW's re-opening had brought much optimism to the state as shops, pubs and hairdressers re-opened, allowing for people to book in much-needed cuts and return to retail and hospitality work, there were also concerns around what it would mean for case numbers going forward.
Certain parts of the state which were not in lockdown prior to this morning are also seeing 'freedom day' as more of a step backwards with the unvaccinated now no longer able to go places they could just 24 hours ago.