NEWCASTLE and the Hunter appear to be shifting out of the COVID spotlight, with just a handful of fresh cases in the region.
The Hunter region has added less than a tenth of the Hunter New England health district's 40 fresh COVID-19 cases on Friday.
Across NSW there were 72,893 tests conducted in the 24-hour period to 8pm on Thursday evening.
Sewage testing has also found fragments of the virus in Denman, health authorities said, despite no known cases in the area.
While Hunter New England recorded more cases than any other in NSW on Friday, the broader picture is brighter for the health district thanks to falls in key measurements.
There are now a dozen cases in hospital, down from Thursday's figures, and three in intensive care.
Hunter New England has 698 total active cases.
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Half of the fresh cases were isolated while infectious, with 19 in the community and the status of one unknown.
Newcastle, Maitland and Lake Macquarie each recorded just a single case as the wider jurisdiction detected 40 cases.
Those cases were in North Lambton, Rutherford and Speers Point.
Of the remainder 15 were in the Midcoast Council area.
Taree had nine, with three in Wingham and individual cases at Tuncurry, Tinonee and Chatham.
Another 13 came from Inverell, seven from Moree and two from Tamworth.
Statewide there were 216 fresh cases as deaths were recorded in Albury, Wollongong and Sydney.
Across NSW, 94.3 per cent of people aged 16 and over have received a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 91.5 per cent are fully vaccinated.
Of the people aged 12-15, 80.8 per cent have received a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, and 74.6 per cent are fully vaccinated.
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