Two people from the Hunter New England Health District died with COVID-19 in the 24 hours to 8pm on Monday, the local health authority announced on Tuesday morning.
The man and woman, aged in their 70s and 80s, were from the Dungog and Mid Coast local government areas.
They were among the 30 people with the virus to die across NSW in the 24-hour period.
There were 1501 new positive COVID-19 test results in the Hunter New England region - 1105 from rapid antigen tests and 396 from PCR tests.
There are 64 people with the virus in the region's hospitals - three of those in intensive care.
The NSW government on Tuesday morning announced the return of elective surgeries from next Monday as the state recorded 12,818 new COVID-19 cases and 30 deaths in the latest 24-hour reporting period.
The positive cases came from 7913 positive rapid antigen tests and 4905 positive PCR tests, which came from around 36,000 PCR tests conducted yesterday.
There are 2749 COVID-19 patients in hospital, with 183 in ICU, and 70 ventilated.
Hospitalisation numbers are down on yesterday, when 2779 patients were being cared for with 185 in ICU.
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