THERE are 75 COVID-19 positive patients receiving care in hospitals across the Hunter New England Health district, with five of those in intensive care.
As NSW recorded 7,985 new COVID-19 cases and four deaths in the 24 hours to 4pm on April 24, there were 1,631 people with COVID-19 in hospital across the state, with 64 in ICU.
There were 1,002 new cases in Hunter New England.
The usual regional breakdown of positive cases was not provided by NSW Health on Monday.
It comes following the announcement that NSW Health will no longer routinely provide a daily update on the number of COVID-19 cases.
While the number of hospitalisations, and deaths, in regions such as Hunter New England will still be reported via the social media pages of the local health districts - more detailed information, such as the tally of case numbers, will be reported in the weekly COVID-19 surveillance reports moving forward.
Meanwhile, the Minister for Education and Early Learning Sarah Mitchell said in line with the updated rules for the general community, teachers and students who are household contacts, but do not have COVID-19 or any symptoms, can return to school but they must notify the school, do a daily rapid antigen test and staff and secondary students are to wear face masks.
It is "strongly recommended" primary school children also wear face masks.
The Minister said a school-level outbreak of COVID-19 may trigger the department to direct the school to cease large indoor gatherings, inter-school activities, and initiate learning from home.
"Schools will continue keeping windows and doors open wherever it is safe and practical to do so, because we know fresh air is an effective way to keep airborne viruses out," she said.
Schools, students and families will also be reminded about essential hygiene practices and to stay at home if they are unwell.
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