NSW recorded 830 new locally acquired COVID-19 cases in the 24 hours to 8:00pm yesterday.
Health Minister Brad Hazzard confirmed three more COVID-related deaths.
A man in his 60s from south-west Sydney died at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. He acquired his infection at Canterbury Hospital.
A woman in her 80s from south-west Sydney died at Wollongong Hospital.
A man in his 70s from south-east Sydney died at St George Hospital, where he acquired his infection.
It was the second death linked to the outbreak at St George Hospital.
Mr Hazzard said the state had seen “extraordinary” levels of vaccinations, bringing it to be one of the highest levels of inoculation rates in the world.
“I am pleased, very pleased, but a vaccination rate in New South Wales is now quite extraordinary,” he said.
“I am advised that in fact, NSW is now amongst the highest, if not the highest, in the world in terms of vaccination rates and that only happens when the citizens of NSW come forward to try and keep themselves, their families and the balance of our community in NSW safe.”
NSW Health administered nearly 45,000 vaccines in the last 24 hours with more than 5.8 million jabs now given across the state.
“I’m confident as we move forward, together 80 per cent, we will have a lot more normality in our lives and we are only weeks away now so if our community keeps getting their vaccines the way they are,” Mr Hazzard said.
“New South Wales will look pretty good by October, November.”
Deputy chief health officer Marianne Gale said 36 of today’s new cases were from Western NSW Local Health District (LHD), and authorities are very concerned about new cases at Orange in the state’s Central West.
“Overnight we have had an additional four cases making a total of six in Orange at the current time. For all residents of Orange, come forward to get tested,” she said.
The majority of cases in the region are from Dubbo, but they have also been found in Bathurst, Wellington and Narromine, Dr Gale said.
There were 940 penalty infringement notices issued in the last 24 hours across the state, NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Gary Worboys said.
“Of course, many of those in the centre of Sydney and surrounds are in relation to the protest or lack of protest activity, thankfully, in the city yesterday,” he said.
Police made dozens of arrests and issued fines to people breaching the state’s COVID-19 public health orders on Saturday, after a crackdown on anti-lockdown protesters in central Sydney.
Blacktown, Greenacre, Guildford, Merrylands, Granville, and Condell Park have been listed as Sydney suburbs of concern, with residents being urged to come forward to get vaccinated.
Mr Hazzard said it was “a possibility” that HSC students could be able to take part in public exams if vaccination numbers continued to be high.
NSW education and health authorities are looking at options to ensure safe conditions during exams for students, examiners and teachers, Mr Hazzard said.
“This is an evolving situation but there are many areas of the state where the risks are far less,” he said.
“The people of South-West and Western Sydney have been incredible in the last few weeks, in terms of coming up with the energy to get out and get the vaccine, despite what is going on in that area, so if we can keep those numbers up, it is a possibility that we may be able to have HSC students across the state doing their public exams.”
There are 550 COVID-19 cases in hospital, with almost 100 people in intensive care, 31 of whom require ventilation.
Of today’s new cases, 137 were linked to a known case or cluster and the source of infection for 693 cases is under investigation.
NSW Health said 50 cases were infectious in the community, 19 were in isolation for part of their infectious period and the isolation status of 694 remain under investigation.
There were 206,193 tests taken during the reporting period.