New South Wales recorded 580 new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 to 8pm last night, as a new Delta strain of the virus has been detected in the community.
NSW Health's ongoing sewage surveillance program has also detected fragments of the virus that causes COVID-19 in sewage samples collected in West Wyalong in the Riverina region.
NSW Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant announced the daily figures during an update on Saturday morning. She said there was also 79,894 tests conducted in the past 24 hours.
There are 163 people in the ICU with COVID-19, Dr Chant added, and 812 COVID patients admitted to hospital.
She said that NSW Health is investigating the source of a new Delta strain identified through genome sequencing.
The new strain was identified through routine special testing, which detected a genome of a Delta strain different to what was previously in the community.
Dr Chant said the new strain has been linked back to a person who had travelled to Australia in September from overseas, but how it got into the community is still under investigation.
"There's nothing about this new Delta strain ... that suggests that it's any more transmissible, going to cause illness or any other issues additional to the current Delta strain," she said.
NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet said that New South Wales is approached a vaccination milestone of 90 per cent first-dosed.
"That effort has ensured that we can open up on Monday in a very safe way," he said, with the roadmap to reopening kicking off on October 11.
"[90 per cent] is incredibly impressive, and behind the scenes our teams in health and justice are working tirelessly to provide that support, to provide that trust to communities, so that those that are most vulnerable get the support they need and vaccination as well."
Mr Perrottet thanked everyone who has come forward for vaccination across the state.
He has also urged NSW residents to follow the rules as the state begins reopening on Monday.
In particular, he said that a lot of young people will be returning to work in hospitality settings and may face challenges.
"When do attend a restaurant, a cafe, a pub, please treat them with respect because it's going to be bit of a challenge," Mr Perrottet said.
"I know it's not going to be perfect, I'm not going to shy away from that, but ultimately if we all work together we'll ensure we come through this period of time stronger."
Mr Perrottet also defended the decision to expand some freedoms in the reopening roadmap starting on Monday now that 70 per cent double-dosed has been achieved.
He maintained that the changes are "modest" and will keep the economy running whilst providing assurance for businesses.
"Yes there will be challenging times ahead ... we are still in a pandemic," he said.
"Case numbers will increase, hospitalisations will increase as well, but our vaccination rate has been key to keeping people safe and importantly, being able to get people back to work as soon as possible."
When questioned about the re-opening of regional NSW, Health Minister Brad Hazzard said future lockdowns if high case numbers arise may be an option.
"Don't assume that we won't go into some form of restrictional lockdown in some areas where we have particular case numbers coming up quickly, we still have to look at that," he said.
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Meanwhile, Victoria reported a record number of daily cases once again, with 1,965 new cases and five deaths.
During the week Wagga recorded its first COVID-19 case in more than a year, with close to 200 contacts identified as of Friday.
The broader Riverina region's vaccination rate is currently sitting at 73.2 per cent single doses, and 50.3 per cent double-dosed.
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