SEVEN fresh cases have been recorded in Hunter New England as NSW's COVID numbers jumped by 830 in Sunday's update.
Hunter New England Health said three of the region's fresh cases - two in Jesmond and one in Islington - were infectious in the community.
The remaining four cases were evenly split between Edgeworth and Branxton, with none of them infectious in the community.
All seven cases are linked to previously reported cases, with one linked to the Costco exposure revealed on Friday.
None of Sunday's cases are associated with the aged care cluster.
Positive sewage detection in Bateau Bay has also prompted concerns on the Central Coast given there are no known cases in that catchment, authorities say.
The sewage catchment caters to 39,000 residents in Bateau Bay, Blue Bay, Killarney Vale, Long Jetty, Shelly Beach, The Entrance, The Entrance North and Toowoon Bay.
NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard on Sunday announced the state had added 830 cases and three more deaths in the 24 hours to 8pm on Saturday.
"The short message is we need to go back to basics," he said. "Just stay at home and definitely go and get tested."
That takes the outbreak's death toll to 71. 94 people are in intensive care across NSW.
NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Gary Worboys said police fined a woman $5000 after checking a Lake Macquarie property to see if she and three other residents were obeying a health order.
She was later found at an address in Kurri Kurri, he said.
"These inspections continue throughout the day and night, and in this instance where we have someone who clearly puts people at risk ... that goes to the top of the list," he said.
"That residence with four people inside of it will now be checked on a more frequent basis to ensure compliance is achieved."
Deputy chief health officer Dr Marianne Gale said a testing backlog had not slowed any positive testing results, but the large testing number reported on Sunday - 206,000 - was actually boosted by those tests being put through.
The true figure for the 24-hour period was closer to 140,000, she said.
Fresh restrictions for Sydney's hot spot LGAs, as well as the rest of the state, come into force on Monday.
Mr Hazzard said one silver lining was the state's vaccination rate, which he said he had been advised was among the fastest in the world.
"I am pleased, very pleased, that the vaccination rate in NSW is quite extraordinary," he said.
"Even though we might be the best in the world at the moment, NSW can do better."
137 of the new cases are linked to known cases or clusters, with the origins of infection for the remaining 693 under investigation.
NSW Health said 67 cases were in isolation while infectious, 19 isolated for part of their infectious period and 50 were infectious in the community.
The isolation of 694 remain under investigation.
IN THE NEWS
Statewide case numbers soared into the 800s on Saturday, a worrying sign for Sydney despite some positives in the regions.
While the Hunter recorded just one case on Saturday, contacts linked to an exposure at Boolaroo's Costco have ballooned past 400 to put the region on tenterhooks.
Police tackled a woman at a Newcastle protest on Saturday, one of many across the state "disrupted" by a 1500-strong police operation.
Hamilton and Cardiff exposure sites were added on Sunday morning.
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