NINE people across Hunter New England health district are in hospital with COVID-19, with another ten diagnosed in the Hunter region itself.
There were only 16 cases confirmed in the region in the 24 hours to 8pm on Monday, with four each in Newcastle and Lake Macquarie and two in Maitland.
Another four came from Midcoast Council local government area, while Moree Plains and Tamworth each detected one case.
Of the new cases 11 were infectious in the community, with 13 linked to previous cases or clusters.
There are 601 active cases in the health district.
Macquarie Hills had all but one of Lake Macquarie's four cases, with the other in Charlestown.
Broadmeadow had two cases, with one each in Merewether and Newcastle East.
Both Maitland cases were in Rutherford.
Statewide there were 173 fresh cases announced on Tuesday and two deaths, both in Sydney.
Tuesday's daily case tally put the Hunter New England tally behind all Sydney health districts except Northern Sydney.
The state's population aged 16 years and over is now 91.9 per cent fully vaccinated, while 94.4 per cent have had their first COVID-19 vaccine shot.
Those aged between 12 and 15 years are 75.4 per cent fully vaccinated, while 81 per cent have had their first dose.
There are 196 COVID-19 patients in hospital, with 34 in ICU.
While Victoria has recorded its second worst daily coronavirus this year, with 19 people losing their lives.
Anyone with cold-like symptoms is urged to get tested and remain in isolation until they receive a negative COVID-19 result.