Another 31 cases of coronavirus have been diagnosed in the Hunter New England Health (HNEH) district in the 24 hours since the local health authority's last update, taking the total to 103.
The latest results have prompted one of the region's senior public health doctors to warn the virus is scattered throughout the region.
HNEH earlier today, Wednesday, March 25 released figures up to 8pm Tuesday, which showed the largest jump in the number of cases in the region for a 24-hour period since the pandemic took hold.
The data shows that 64 of the people diagnosed so far are aged 60 or over, with three aged between 10 and 19.
Five of the COVID-19 patients are in local hospitals - two of those in intensive care.
The local health authority says it is getting in touch with close contacts of the new cases and asking them to self-isolate for 14 days from their last point of contact with the infected person.
They will be contacted every day to check if they have remained well.
Of the 103 confirmed cases, 71 acquired the virus overseas, 15 acquired it locally through contact with an infected person, four people acquired the virus through an unidentified contact and 13 cases remain under investigation.
The jump in confirmed cases continues the upward trend in the region, after 25 were diagnosed in the previous 24-hour period.
Public health physician Dr Dave Durrheim said confirmed cases of coronavirus were "scattered right across HNEH".
"Everyone should consider that the virus is circulating in your community and so it's absolutely critical that we all distance ourselves," he said.
"We need to stand back that one-and-a-half metres, we need to restrict the amount that we go outside only to critical activities, we need to make sure that if we have a cough or a cold or a fever that we don't go out into the community and potentially spread COVID-19 - that's the time to be at home and to be safe and not spread the virus."
We have removed our paywall from our stories about the coronavirus. This is a rapidly changing situation and we want to ensure our readers are as informed as possible. If you would like to support our journalists, you can subscribe here