The growth rate of new coronavirus cases in the Hunter New England Health district has continued its downward trend.
HNEH announced on Wednesday that 10 more people had tested positive up to 8pm on Tuesday.
The total number of positive tests in the district now sits at 218.
HNEH reported 11 new cases in its daily update on Monday and eight on Tuesday, down from 25 and 22 last weekend.
The total number of cases include 14 with an unknown source and three under investigation. The rest were acquired overseas or from contact with a confirmed case.
HNEH hospitals are caring for 12 COVID-19 patients, six of whom are in intensive care units, one fewer than on Tuesday.
One hundred of the people who have tested positive are older than 60.
The health service is informing close contacts of the new cases and asking them to self-isolate for 14 days from last contact.
Of the 218 confirmed cases, 46 are in the Newcastle local government area, 38 in Lake Macquarie, 30 in Port Stephens, 25 in Maitland and 20 in Cessnock.
Dungog, Singleton, Upper Hunter and Muswellbrook all had fewer than four.
Lake Macquarie has five instances of locally acquired COVID-19 with an unknown source and is the only Hunter LGA with more than four such cases.
Meanwhile, HNEH will ban all visitors to state-run nursing homes from Saturday in an attempt to protect elderly residents.
The announcement followed the death on Tuesday of a woman in her nineties at Dorothy Henderson Lodge.
The 95-year-old was the fifth resident to die at the nursing home in north-west Sydney.
Nine people have died of COVID-19 in NSW.
HNEH wrote to family members on Wednesday to tell them about the new restrictions on visits.
The previous guidelines allowed for one visitor a day for 30 minutes.
"In line with recent Federal Government advice and NSW Government policy updates we will be restricting all visitors to our Multi-Purpose Services and State Government Residential Aged Care Facilities across Hunter New England Local Health District," the letter said.
"To protect our most vulnerable residents and patients, only essential staff and support personnel will be able to enter."
Families were told that nursing home staff would also be banned from entering if they had been overseas or in contact with a COVID-19 case in the past 14 days or had a fever or symptoms of acute respiratory infection.
It is understood some nursing homes will organise virtual visiting via Skype or teleconferencing.
NSW now has 2182 confirmed cases after adding another 150 up to 8pm on Tuesday night.
NSW Health said it was treating 218 of the COVID-19 cases, more than half of whom were being cared for at home.
Intensive care units were treating 42 cases, 22 of whom required ventilators.
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