ACTIVE cases in the Hunter have slipped below 1000, but the region's daily cases have jumped after several slower days.
The Hunter New England Health area added 74 fresh cases in Thursday's update, the second highest number of any health district in NSW.
Only south western Sydney's 80 exceeded the Hunter figure, which made up less than a quarter of the NSW total.
There were 372 local infections found statewide in the 24-hour period and one death.
NSW Health said the man who died with COVID-19 was in his 50s and hailed from southeastern Sydney.
He died at Sutherland hospital and had received one dose of vaccine.
Health authorities said that 30 of the Hunter cases were infectious in the community, with the isolation status of another 30 unknown.
There are now 940 active cases spread across the health district, with 23 in hospital.
Only three require intensive care.
Existing cases and clusters can be linked to 35 of the new cases, of which 23 fell in Newcastle.
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Three each occurred within Elermore Vale, Jesmond, Hamilton and Hamilton South. Two each were found in New Lambton Heights and Wallsend while Adamstown, Birmingham Gardens, Mayfield West, Merewether, North Lambton, Tarro and The Hill had single cases.
Six cases in Maitland headlined that area's 15 fresh cases, with four in Metford and three in Woodberry.
Lorn and Thornton also added cases.
Lake Macquarie's dozen doubled up only in Dudley and Macquarie Hills.
Belmont North, Bolton Point, Cardiff South, Gateshead, Pelican, West Wallsend, Windale and Wyee also had individual cases.
Eight of Cessnock's nine cases were in the city itself, with the lone remaining case in Kurri Kurri.
Port Stephens had two cases in Raymond Terrace, one in Williamtown and another in Karuah.
Hawks Nest added a fresh case amid Midcoast's eight, half of which came from Taree.
Cundletown, Purfleet and Killabah had the remaining cases.
Tamworth had three cases.
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