OMICRON cases in NSW have jumped to 25 as the Hunter's number of patients in hospital with COVID-19 fell to just a single infection.
The Hunter New England health district added five fresh infections in Monday's update, with all but one in the Hunter region.
Newcastle added three cases in Tighes Hill while Cessnock had one at East Branxton.
Wherrol Flat, in Midcoast council area, was the only other case in Hunter New England discovered in more than 60,000 tests in the 24-hour period.
There are 225 active cases of COVID-19 in the health district.
Only one of those cases is in hospital, with none requiring intensive care.
The new Omicron cases are linked to a Villawood climbing gym, with one an international arrival.
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Hunter New England Health said four of the new infections were contagious in the community, while one was isolating.
Dr David Durrheim said with only 12 cases in the area over the past weekend, it was crucial that all transmission was identified.
He said four of those were people back from the northern hemisphere, highlighting the increased risk in that part of the world.
"Anybody returning to Australia and Hunter New England who has any covid symptoms within two weeks of returning must get tested,
"We strongly encourage everyone in the community given the very low testing rates currently, which have halved over the last four weeks from over 62,000 tests to just over 32,000 tests, don't ignore any symptoms.
"We don't want COVID to again escape into the community."
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