A CESSNOCK woman in her 30s has become the third Hunter death with COVID-19 in the region reported in the past two days.
The woman, who NSW Health said was unvaccinated and had underlying health conditions, died at the John Hunter Hospital.
Two women also died in Hunter hospitals in Sunday's update after contracting the virus.
30 were infectious in the community, with the status of seven unknown.
There are now 1097 active cases in the Hunter, 29 of which are in hospital and four require intensive care.
39 of the fresh cases are linked to known cases or clusters.
Lake Macquarie had six cases in Charlestown, two in Windale and one each from Belmont, Cardiff South, Croudace Bay, Macquarie Hills, Holmesville, Speers Point and Wyee.
Most of Newcastle's dozen cases were in Wallsend, where seven were found. Birmingham Gardens, Hamilton, Jesmond, Lambton and Mayfield also had individual cases.
Maitland and East Maitland had three each, with two in Metford. Bolwarra Heights, Rutherford, Telarah and Tenambit also added cases.
Six fell within Cessnock, with Kearsley and Weston cases joining four in the city itself.
Both Port Stephens cases were in Fingal Bay, while Muswellbrook and Singleton Heights both had one case.
Tamworth had two, in South Tamworth and Oxley Vale, while Midcoast added 13 fresh infections.
Those spanned across Taree (four), Tuncurry (three), Forster and Wingham (both two). Single cases popped up in Nabiac and North Arm Cove.
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NSW recorded 266 total cases, with one an overseas infection.
That makes the Hunter's latest batch of detections less than a quarter of the statewide total for the last 24-hour period.
But the Hunter remains among the state's biggest sources of new cases, with only South Western Sydney's 65 new infections eclipsing the region's daily tally.
Statewide, first doses have been delivered to 92 per cent of the adult population in NSW.
Of those 16 and over, 80.3 per cent have been fully vaccinated.
The region's 73 cases declared on Sunday formed almost a quarter of the 301 in NSW for the day.
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