NSW COVID cases hit 830 on Sunday August 22 as Newcastle records at least seven new infections

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard on Sunday announced the state had added 830 cases and three more deaths in the 24 hours to 8pm on Saturday.

That takes the outbreak's death toll to 71. 94 people are in intensive care across NSW.

Deputy chief health officer Dr Marianne Gale said a testing backlog had not slowed any positive testing results, but the large testing number reported on Sunday - 206,000 - was actually boosted by those tests being put through.

The true figure for the 24-hour period was closer to 140,000, she said.

Mr Hazzard said one silver lining was the state's vaccination rate, which he said he had been advised was among the fastest in the world.

"I am pleased, very pleased, that the vaccination rate in NSW is quite extraordinary," he said.

"Even though we might be the best in the world at the moment, NSW can do better."

137 of the new cases are linked to known cases or clusters, with the origins of infection for the remaining 693 under investigation.

NSW Health said 67 cases were in isolation while infectious, 19 isolated for part of their infectious period and 50 were infectious in the community.

The isolation of 694 remain under investigation.

Statewide case numbers soared into the 800s on Saturday, a worrying sign for Sydney despite some positives in the regions.

Police tackled a woman at a Newcastle protest on Saturday, one of many across the state "disrupted" by a 1500-strong police operation.

This story NSW breaks new record in most cases: 830 positive, three deaths first appeared on Newcastle Herald.