AN additional 21 cases of COVID-19 has taken the Hunter's tally to 124.
Currently five COVID-19 patients are being cared for in Hunter hospitals - two in ICU.
Of the cases, 69 had been passengers on cruises including the Ruby Princess, the Voyage of the Seas and the Ovation of the Seas.
"We are thrilled these passengers actually restricted themselves to be at home, they self isolated, and we encourage everyone in the community to take the lesson from these heroes," public health physician Dr David Durrheim said.
"These are people who didn't expect to be infected, and yet they played their role in the community by ensuring they kept the virus at home and did not spread it.
"We have only had five cases in the Hunter where we haven't been able to track down the source, so community spread is not widespread. This is our time. This is our opportunity to really slow the spread of the virus.
"We are counting on all of you."
Hunter New England Health is contacting close contacts of the new cases, who are being asked to self-isolate for 14 days from last contact. They will be contacted every day to check that they are well and any contact who develops COVID-19 symptoms will be tested for the infection.
There have been more than 5214 tests for coronavirus in the Hunter New England Health region.
Of those, 1.92 per cent have been positive.
Of the confirmed cases in the region, 93 were acquired overseas, 21 were locally acquired via a contact of a known case, five were under investigation.
Another five were locally acquired, but their source of infection was unknown.
Earlier on Thursday, Hunter New England Health released the local government areas where there had been confirmed cases of COVID-19.
There were 19 in the Newcastle local government area, five in Port Stephens, 24 in Lake Macquarie, and six in Maitland.
There have also been cases 19 cases in the Lower Mid North Coast, 15 in the Hunter Valley, and 12 in the New England regions.
In NSW, there have been 1219 confirmed cases.
There have been seven deaths across the state, and there are 16 cases currently in intensive care.
NSW Health said a further two children under 10 had tested positive to COVID-19, bringing the total in that age group to four.
A 1-year-old girl whose parent is a confirmed case and a 2-year-old girl who acquired the infection overseas have both already been isolation with family, and have mild symptoms.
There are 121 confirmed cases in NSW who were on board the Ruby Princess and 31 from the Ovation of the Seas cruise ship.
A Qantas charter flight from Honolulu arrived in Sydney Airport overnight to repatriate 292 passengers who were on the Norwegian Jewel. The boat has been at sea with no landing and with no one coming onto the ship for 3 weeks.
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