Hunter New England area has recorded 38 new cases of COVID-19 as the health district warns cases are spreading in workplaces and family and social interactions.
The state recorded 1043 cases and 11 deaths, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced on Friday. Ten of the deaths occurred in Sydney and one was a man from Broken Hill.
The Hunter cases in the 24 hours to 8pm Thursday were spread throughout seven council areas. There were 14 in Newcastle, eight in Lake Macquarie, seven in Cessnock, five in Maitland, two in Port Stephens and one each in Mid Coast and Muswellbrook.
Hunter New England Health public health controller Dr David Durrheim said this had been the third day of high cases numbers in the region, and the health service was looking closely at where infections were occurring.
Dr Durrheim said secondary cases were generally not coming from exposures at retail or food outlets, but instead from workplaces and family and social interactions.
"We're seeing [transmission] in family groups, social groups," he said.
"People who are getting together, not keeping to the distancing, taking their masks off, gathering particularly in indoor environments. This appears to be a high risk setting.
"We're seeing it in some workplaces. Places where people are together for long periods of time, potentially not actually following the good, smart rules of mask wearing, distancing and making sure that no one attends when they have even the mildest of symptoms."
Nineteen cases were infectious in the community, the isolation status of 10 are unknown and 15 cases have been linked.
Nineteen local cases are now in hospital, including one in the ICU.
Friday's numbers bring the total number of cases in the District to 600 during this outbreak.
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The state has reached 84.1 per cent for single dose vaccination, while 56.6 of the eligible population is fully vaccinated.
Ms Berejiklian also said commended the 12-15 year old population - a third of which have now had a vaccination.
Hunter New England Health has organised priority vaccine appointments for teachers, HSC students and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.
Any teachers and HSC students who have not had their COVID-19 vaccination can walk in to the Belmont hub on Friday and receive their immunisation. No booking is necessary.
This weekend there will also be walk-in appointments for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 12 years and older, including non-Aboriginal partners and household members.
Children aged 15 years and younger must be accompanied by a parent/guardian aged over 18 years.
The walk-in appointments will operate from 9am to 3pm.
The Premier was asked about concerns raised by regional MPs about the impact unlocking Sydney will have on the rest of the state, and whether she would consider stopping Sydney siders from travelling to the regions when lockdown ends.
Ms Berejiklian said she would "look at what the case numbers are doing at that stage", but that her most recent update was that only seven LGAs hadn't reached 70 per cent first dose.
Meanwhile, a Newcastle East hotel has been locked down after 13 COVID-19 cases were detected among residents.
The 13 cases were detected at Alloggio Newcastle Beach and are safely isolating off site, Hunter New England Health said.
Forty six residents were tested on-site on Monday and were directed to isolate for 14 days.
The original source of the infection is still under investigation and contact tracing is underway to identify all close and casual contacts of the confirmed cases, as well as any exposure sites that would pose a potential risk to the broader community.
Hunter New England Local Health District is working closely with building management and residents, supported by NSW Police, to implement measures to safeguard the health and welfare of residents.
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