The 12 million-plus COVID-19 vaccines that have gone into arms in NSW appear to be helping keep a lid on an expected surge in new infections and hospitalisations as the state opens up.
Deputy Chief Health Officer Jeremy McAnulty says the 12,072,248 COVID jabs that have been administered so far is "an extraordinary effort".
"I thank everyone for coming forward to help protect ourselves and the communities from COVID by getting vaccinated," he said on Tuesday.
NSW recorded 282 new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 and one death, two weeks after people began enjoying more freedoms after coming out of lockdown.
Health authorities had predicted cases numbers would surge again this week - two weeks after people started mingling as restrictions eased.
However, it's a case of so good so far, as there were 12 fewer cases recorded in the 24 hours to 8pm on Monday, from the previous day.
And the number of people in hospital with COVID-19 has dropped to 457 - 17 fewer than the previous day.
There are 109 COVID-19 patients now in intensive care (down seven) and 57 people are ventilated.
Dr McAnulty said of the 109 people in ICU, 86 are not vaccinated, 17 had received one jab and six were fully vaccinated.
Despite the proven protection of being vaccinated he urged everyone to "remain vigilant as we open up to the community".
"Even if you're fully vaccinated it's important to remain vigilant to those (COVID) symptoms," he said.
Since restrictions were eased there had been some transmissions at indoor sites such as bars and gyms, he said.
Masks remained "really important to stop the spread in addition to vaccination".
Modelling commissioned by the state government predicted increasing case numbers in Sydney would put the hospital system under unprecedented stress in October.
However, it's now hoped that better-than-expected vaccination rates will avert that scenario.
Premier Dominic Perrottet this week urged caution about the downward trend in case numbers, saying "this pandemic is not over".
The one new death - down from four the previous day - was an unvaccinated man in his 80s from Wollongong, taking the death toll for this outbreak to 503.
Now 93.2 per cent of people 16 and over have received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 85.5 per cent of adults are fully vaccinated.
In the 12-15-year-old age group, 78 per cent have had their first dose and 53 per cent are fully vaccinated.
The majority of COVID-19 cases are now being diagnosed in the regions and smaller cities rather than in Sydney, where the Delta outbreak first took hold in June.
With 49 new cases, the Hunter New England Local Health District once again recorded the most number of cases in the state, closely followed by the Murrumbidgee Local Health District, which had 45 - due to its close proximity to Victoria where the virus is raging.
There were 33 new cases on the mid-north coast, followed by 30 in western Sydney.
Australian Associated Press