The numbers of mystery cases and new cases not in isolation will determine whether Sydney can get out of lockdown as planned on Friday.
NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard on Tuesday morning said the number of unlinked - or mystery - cases was more important than the number of total cases.
'There's a whole team of health officials... they're looking at the numbers, whether they're linked or unlinked, and also whether there's unknown chains of transmission,' Mr Hazzard told RN Breakfast.
The numbers of mystery cases and new cases not in isolation will determine whether Sydney can get out of lockdown as planned on Friday. Pictured: Rushcutters Bay Park on SundayInsurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
He said case numbers will 'bounce around' but the state does not have a set target that needs to be reached to end lockdown.
'Last year when the numbers were going through the roof, that was traumatising. We know that what we're doing needs to be done to hold the line but we're just not sure how to break that line,' he said.
The minister said he was 'hopeful' lockdown would end but some key restrictions would remain in place.
'We are on high alert but we are hopeful we could bring in some normalcy,' he said.
The restrictions most likely to remain include a cap on the number of visitors to households and mandatory mask-wearing at venues and on public transport.
Before the lockdown was imposed, eastern Sydney residents were limited to five visitors at home.
On Monday the state recorded 35 new cases of coronavirus with eleven out and about while infectious.
Police officers were out and about in Sydney on Monday to make sure residents follow the rulesInsurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
Security guards are seen at the Meriton Suites in Waterloo. An illegal party at the luxury complex on June 26 has led to three cases
Twenty-four cases were in isolation throughout their infectious period while four isolated for part of it and seven were in the community for all of their infectious period.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said 'the next couple of days will be absolutely critical' in deciding whether to lift lockdown and revealed the decision hinges on the number of cases not in isolation while infectious.
This is because new cases that were already isolating before they became infectious pose no risk of spreading the disease to others in the community.
A case might already be isolating if they visited a close contact venue and followed health advice to stay at home or if they live with an infected person.
New South Wales wants to reduce community transmission to zero while the vaccine rollout ramps up. Only 9 per cent of Australian adults have been double jabbed.
Former GP and ABC journalist Dr Norman Swan said Monday's cases were 'really worrying' and said: 'I think it will be hard [to end lockdown] if it goes on like that.'
Four people are in ICU with Covid-19 in New South Wales, none on ventilators.
On Monday night a Bunnings and Chemist Warehouse were added to Sydney's growing Covid exposure site list, plunging hundreds more into isolation.
Among the new venues is a fried chicken shop in Edmondson Park, in Sydney's south-west, and a Chinese restaurant in Marrickville, where infected workers may have spread the virus to hundreds of diners.
The Covid-infected staffer worked for six days between June 26 and July 1, plunging any customers between 9am and 2pm into isolation for 14 days, regardless of any negative test results.
The same applies for customers of Frango Charcoal Chicken in Edmondson Park after