New South Wales has recorded 496 new local cases of COVID-19 as the state begins reopening today and Greater Sydney leaves lockdown after more than 100 days.
Two new overseas cases were also recorded, bringing the daily total to 498 cases.
Included in today's cases is one new case in the Edward River LGA within the Murrumbidgee Local Health District.
Both of these cases are linked to previous cases at the Deniliquin Hospital and have been in isolation during their infectious period.
The MLHD also reported a new exposure site in Wagga. Anyone who attended Wagga Wagga Fruit Supply at Shop 4/6, 21 Forsyth Street between 9.15am and 10am on Wednesday, October 6 is considered a casual contact and must get a COVID test and isolate until they return a negative result.
Premier Dominic Perrottet thanked the community for coming forward to get vaccinated, allowing the state to reopen.
"It's not just a health crisis, its an economic crisis too," he said on Monday.
"We now need to learn to live alongside the virus. There will be challenges but I believe that our state is poised and ready, and that is on our people."
The state also recorded eight COVID-related deaths. 769 people remain in hospital across the state with COVID, including 152 people are in the ICU.
More than 90 per cent of NSW residents over 16 have now had their first dose of a COVID vaccine, and 73.5 per cent have been fully vaccinated.
In the last 24 hours there were 83,498 tests conducted.
Mr Perrottet admitted there will be challenges ahead but remains confident the state is well-placed to reopen.
"Case numbers will increase, hospitalisation rates will increase, because mobility is increasing as we open up," he said.
"We can't stay closed, we need to learn to live alongside the virus.
"NSW is the first state to be doing just that; we are leading the nation out of this pandemic."
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The Premier has flagged labour shortages as an issue as the reopening continues gradually across the state.
"We're working with the federal government at the moment in terms of trying to bring forward that date for the opening of our international border," he said.
"We've got to rejoin the world, we want returning Australians to come back and if NSW can play a role in helping other states bringing their Australian's home too, we want to be part of that."
Business NSW Chief Executive Daniel Hunter said that opening international borders and scaling up skilled migration will assist with labour shortages.
"When we went into this lockdown there was already a skilled migration shortage and general labour shortage, so we need to get the borders opened up and then we need to market to those overseas countries to get some of those skilled migrants in," he said.
Mr Hunter said that it is particularly difficult to find staff in regional areas, and this is often exacerbated by the regional housing shortage.
NSW Treasurer Matt Kean said that the restrictions have cost the state's economy roughly $1 billion a week.
"What we need to do is make sure as we come out of these restrictions, that number's expected to halve, so we need to get out there," he said, encouraging people to go to the pub and get a beer, get a haircut and grab a coffee to support local businesses.
The Murrumbidgee Local Health District said the case was a household contact of a previously known case and is in home isolation.
It was also reported yesterday that Wagga has been selected as one of four regional centres to take part in a trial rollout of Service NSW's new digital vaccination certificate.
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