The number of people infected with COVID-19 in the community is on the rise, according to the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District.
It said the number of COVID-19 notifications in the past two week was more than 20 per cent higher than the previous fortnight, and emergency department presentations were also up.
With hospitals in the district treating an increased number of patients with COVID-19, and while the risk of transmission remains high, surgical masks are being temporarily reintroduced in clinical areas within ISLHD facilities.
The health service said masks were being reintroduced as "a short-term mitigation measure to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, and to help keep patients, staff, volunteers and visitors safe".
The usual personal protective equipment requirements and protocols for staff treating patients with, or suspected to have, COVID-19 remain in place.
The district is reminding people that if they are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, they should stay at home to protect others.
They should also postpone visiting friends and family in hospital and avoid visiting other high-risk settings such as aged or disability care facilities or people who are at higher risk of severe illness.