HAMILTON South has added more fresh cases in Sunday's COVID-19 update than Lake Macquarie, Cessnock or Maitland local government areas.
The Hunter New England region recorded 53 cases in Sunday's announcement, making up roughly 18 per cent of the NSW-wide 296 figure.
Of the new cases 34 were infectious in the community, with the status of five unknown, and 42 were linked to known cases or clusters.
It means the Hunter's health district has 945 active cases.
There are now 24 people in the region's hospitals with the virus. Four require intensive care.
Newcastle added 17 cases. Nine are from Hamilton South and two were from Jesmond, with the remainder in Adamstown, Georgetown, Hamilton, The Hill, Wallsend and Waratah.
In Lake Macquarie Jewells had two cases, with single infections detected in Dora Creek, Edgeworth, Holmesville, Toronto, Whitebridge and Windale.
Maitland and Cessnock each had seven new cases.
In Maitland two were in Bolwarra, one in Bolwarra Heights and other individual cases at Chisholm, Lorn, Thornton and Maitland.
Cessnock had three in the city itself, two in Cliftleigh, one in Abermain and another at Kurri Kurri.
Port Stephens had two cases each for Tanilba Bay and Raymond Terrace, with a fifth in Williamtown.
Dungog added one new case.
Wingham had two of Midcoast's four cases, with the others in Failford and Forster. Tamworth also added four fresh cases.
None of the four men whose deaths were included in Sunday's update were in the Hunter.
Two people, a man in his 60s and a woman in her 70s, died in the 24 hours to 8pm on Friday.
Cessnock police station has been flagged as a COVID exposure site, with anyone who was present between 5.30pm and 6pm on Thursday October 21 deemed a casual contact.
Those people are required to seek a COVID test and isolate until a negative result is received.
Other casual contact exposures were also identified at Jimbo's Barbershop in Beaumont Street on Wednesday 13 October from 1.15pm to 2.05pm, as well as at Just Cuts Charlestown in Pearson Street on Friday 15 October from 4.05pm to 4.45pm
Any close contacts will be informed directly by health authorities.
The NSW Department of Education confirmed several Hunter schools including Kotara South Public School, Garden Suburbs Public School will reopen to students and staff on Monday after deep cleaning.