Another 18 cases of COVID-19 have been detected in the Hunter New England, bringing the local health district's total to 142 cases.
Hunter New England Health said the cases had been diagnosed before 8pm on Thursday.
Five COVID-19 patients are being cared for in hospitals, including two in intensive care units.
"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," a statement said.
"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."