MORE than 9000 people have booked an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccine at the mass vaccination hub opening at Belmont next week, despite the online system being plagued by "technical challenges".
Since bookings opened for the new vaccination centre at Belmont on Monday, Hunter residents have reported "glitches" with the system preventing them from making an appointment.
READ MORE: How to book at Hunter vaccination centre
Hunter New England Health's Liz Grist said more than 9000 people had booked an appointment through the Eligibility Checker and NSW Health booking system.
But some had experienced a "technical challenge" that had been identified as a screen display issue in web browsers.
Ms Grist said the problem was being rectified.
"Should people encounter this problem when booking online, the easiest way to correct it quickly is by using a different web browser or device, or by clearing their browser cache, and then logging in via the Eligibility Checker again," she said.
"We recognise this is frustrating and appreciate the community's patience."
A returned Hunter traveller has tested positive for COVID-19 in hotel quarantine in Sydney, but there is yet to be any confirmed cases of the virus in the Newcastle region.
Essential workers travelling from locked-down Sydney have been advised to get a weekly COVID test regardless of symptoms to prevent the virus from seeping into regional areas.
The announcement came following the news an essential worker who had travelled from Sydney to Goulburn for work on a construction site had tested positive for COVID-19.
Those undergoing weekly "surveillance testing" would not need to isolate after each test, provided they had no symptoms.
"We can't afford to have the virus spread," NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said. "If you have symptoms, you should not be going anywhere except to get a COVID test."
Ms Berejiklian said the current restrictions in regional areas were a safeguard to ensure that should a positive case occur, it was unlikely to lead to a super-spreading event.
There were 89 cases of community transmission in the 24 hours to 8pm on Monday, with 21 of those infectious while in the community.
"And that is the number we need to see close to zero," Ms Berejiklian said.
On Tuesday, NSW chief health officer, Dr Kerry Chant, said a man in his 70s from Sydney's eastern suburbs who had been diagnosed with COVID-19 had died. She said there were still "too many" people in the community while infectious.
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