HUNTER COVID cases have hit an unwanted new record, spiking to 27 as clusters in Mayfield and Tenambit swell.
Hunter New England Health said 13 are linked to two separate clusters, one at Mayfield and Charlestown and another at Tenambit.
"The sources for these clusters is unknown," the health service said.
Tuesday's Hunter figures included several cases linked to a Mayfield charity, City Sleep Safe, that provides emergency accommodation.
Of the 13 connected cases revealed on Wednesday, nine are linked and their source of infection known. Two are unlinked with an unknown source, and three remain under investigation.
Lake Macquarie's cases included two in Charlestown, two in Mount Hutton, one in Cardiff South, another in Windale, one in Fishing Point and a Wyee Point case.
Five of Newcastle's seven cases were in Mayfield, with the other two in Hamilton South and Elermore Vale.
Six of Maitland's seven cases are from Tenambit, with a seventh from Beresfield.
Cessnock had two cases and a third in Cliftleigh, while Port Stephens added Shoal Bay and Fingal Bay cases.
NSWrecorded 1259 cases in the 24 hours to 8pm on Tuesday.
Across the state 12 people died with the virus in the 24-hour period.
- A woman in her 60s from south-eastern Sydney who died at home
- A man in his 60s from south-western Sydney died at Liverpool Hospital
- A man in his 70s from western Sydney died at Liverpool Hospital
- A man in his 90s from western Sydney died at Westmead Hospital.
- A woman in her 80s from western Sydney died at Blacktown Hospital.
- A woman in her 50s from south-western Sydney died at Westmead Hospital.
- A woman in her 80s from south-western Sydney died at Campbelltown Hospital.
- A woman in her 70s from south-western Sydney died at Campbelltown Hospital.
- A woman in her 30s from south-western Sydney died at Royal North Shore Hospital.
- A woman in her 70s from south-eastern Sydney died at Prince of Wales Hospital.
- A man in his 60s from western Sydney died at Westmead Hospital.
- A man in his 50s from south-western Sydney died at Westmead Hospital.
NSW has hit the 80 per cent first dose milestone in its vaccination drive, with 47.5 per cent completely vaccinated.
Premier Glayds Berejiklian said the milestone meant that authorities knew "we won't overwhelm the health system" when the state begins to reopen.
"To reach our first dose of 80 per cent is a huge tribute to everyone in the community" she said.
"Just an outstanding result compared to where we are today and where we've been."
Curfews will lift in Sydney's areas of concern as a result of the vaccination milestone, but Ms Berejiklian said "we can't move on anything else right now".
"We need everybody to hold the line," she said.
Tuesday's figures had also flagged a drop in testing rates for the Hunter region, prompting calls from health authorities for people to come forward with even the mildest symptoms to provide a clearer picture of how the virus was circulating.
Hunter New England Health's Dr David Durrheim said authorities were working to staunch any risk to the community and to support residents and staff.
"The virus manages to find any areas where people are congregating, and particularly where people live in close proximity to others," he said.