THE number of COVID-19 cases in the Hunter New England Health (HNEH) district continues to climb, with the region's total now at 72.
HNEH announced on Monday afternoon there had been an additional 25 cases diagnosed in the region.
Of those, 47 had been acquired internationally, 17 were infected by a known case, and four were under investigation.
The source of infection was unknown for four of the Hunter cases.
The virus has particularly affected people aged 60-to-69 in the region, with 18 of the confirmed cases falling into that age bracket.
However, on a positive note a Great Lakes man aged in his 70s has made a full recovery and has been released from home isolation after spending 20 days in seclusion.
HNEH is contacting close contacts of the new cases, who are being asked to self-isolate for 14 days from last contact.
They would be contacted every day to check that they are well and any contact who develops COVID-19 symptoms would be tested for the infection.
It comes as NSW Health announced an additional 149 cases diagnosed in the State since 8pm on March 22.
It brings the total number of confirmed cases in NSW to 818.
NSW Health said a woman in her 70s had died in hospital on Tuesday.
The woman, who was transported directly to hospital from the Ruby Princess in Sydney on March 19, was one of the initial three passengers who were confirmed to be COVID-19 positive following testing of retained specimens from on-board the cruise.
Seven people have now died in NSW having tested positive to COVID-19.
There have been 107 cases diagnosed in NSW from the Ruby Princess, and 26 cases interstate.
NSW Health said no cases of COVID-19 had been identified by doctors on board before docking.
There are currently 12 COVID-19 cases in NSW Health intensive care units and of those cases, eight require ventilators at this stage.
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