Premier Gladys Berejiklian has warned new daily coronavirus infections in NSW could balloon to triple digits on Monday.
Ms Berejiklian made the chilling prediction as she revealed 77 new locally-acquired Covid infections on Sunday and a new death – a woman aged in her 90s from southwest Sydney.
"Given the number of people exposed in the community overnight, I'm anticipating the numbers in New South Wales will be greater than 100 tomorrow," she said.
"Now, that's what I'm anticipating. And I'll be shocked if it's less than 100 this time tomorrow, of additional new cases.
"So we can't stress enough the importance of not only following the rules but also realising the risk that the people who will suffer the most, if you don't worry about yourself, that's fine.
"But think about your closest family members, your closest people in your life, they're the people that are most impacted."
Ms Berejiklian revealed 33 of Sunday's new cases were out in the community while infectious.
And the situation has not even reached its peak, with the premier saying the coming days will be worse.
"Tomorrow and the few days afterwards will be worse, much worse than we've seen today," she said.
When asked about her plans to extend lockdown beyond Friday, the premier said it depended on how quickly NSW could turn numbers around, but she admitted it did not look good.
"Given where we're at and given the lockdown was supposed to be lifted on Friday, everybody can tell it's highly unlikely at this stage, given where the numbers are," she said.
"We've always been up-front about that. I've always said we need that exposure number in the community, those 33 that we had last night (Saturday), to be as close to zero as possible so we're confident that we haven't missed any chains of transmission."
First Covid case to die in Australia in 2021
The woman, aged in her 90s from southwest Sydney, was tested for Covid-19 on Friday and returned a positive result on Saturday.
She died at Liverpool Hospital on Saturday and Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said it was understood the woman was not vaccinated.
She is the first person to die since the Bondi cluster emerged on June 16, and the 57th person in NSW to die since the start of the pandemic in early 2020.
The woman is also the first person to catch Covid-19 locally in Australia in 2021 and die.
"I want to extend my deepest condolences to the families and loved ones," Ms Berejiklian said.
The latest numbers were a steep jump from the 50 locally-acquired cases reported on Saturday.