HUNTER cases have "stabilised" despite six infectious in the region as NSW's fresh cases neared 500 and seven deaths were added in the past 24 hours.
NSW recorded 478 cases from 157,000 tests in the 24 hours to 8pm on Sunday.
Deputy Premier John Barilaro said there were 35 cases in the Dubbo and Walgett areas, while Hunter New England added 16 cases.
"The Hunter New England has stabilised, " he said.
Hunter New England Health figures showed that eight of the Hunter cases are from Maitland, five from Newcastle, two from Lake Macquarie and one from Port Stephens.
Of those, 13 are linked and three are under investigation. Hunter New England Health said six were infectious in the community.
Within the 478 cases statewide NSW Health said 97 were isolated while infectious, 30 were isolated in part of their infectious window, 61 were infectious in the community and "the isolation status of 290 remains under investigation".
"Too many people are infectious in the community," Dr Chant said.
"Leave your home for the most minimum of time, and every time you are out assume you have the infection or that you will come into contact with someone else who has the infection."
"I just want to remind people that even if you are immunised, fully immunised, you still have to follow all the rules."
Fresh exposure sites were named overnight in Jesmond, Mayfield, Hamilton and more in the Hunter, while Jesmond Grove aged care on Sunday confirmed a fourth COVID case in a patient.
Concerns are also high in Port Stephens, where Hunter New England Health public health physician Dr David Durrheim on Sunday said Raymond Terrace, Medowie and Williamtown had viral loads in sewage "as high as anywhere we've seen in NSW".
Dr Chant said Dubbo had become a particular area of concern, particularly around Indigenous vaccination rates in those communities.
The state also recorded seven deaths.
Dr Chant include three men in their 80s, a man in his 40s, a woman in her 70s, a woman in her 80s and a man in his 70s.
Dr Chant said a 15-year-old boy who had died of meningitis had also had COVID-19.
"The death of anyone is tragic and it stresses the gravity of the situation that I've announced those seven deaths," she said.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said only two had received one dose of the vaccine, with the other five unvaccinated.
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It was not immediately clear how many were active in the community despite lockdown across the entire state.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said Maryland, Blacktown, Mt Druitt, Greenacre and Bankstown were among the Sydney suburbs where growth in case numbers continued to grow.
"Please know that when you get vaccinated it takes two to three weeks for that first vaccination to take effect," she said.
"Make sure you continue to follow the rules as strictly as you can.
"We just want people to stay still."
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