COVID-19 cases in NSW are hovering around 300 a day but spikes in some areas have health authorities calling for vigilance.
There were 304 new locally acquired infections and three deaths, including a man in his 30s, in the 24 hours to 8pm on Tuesday.
The cluster in the Hunter New England local government area continues to grow with 83 new cases - an overnight spike of 34 - comprising more than 27 per cent of the state's new cases.
Once again the Murrumbidgee Local Health District, which includes the Victorian border town of Albury, recorded the second-highest daily tally with 38 new cases, while Wodonga on the other side of the border recorded 46 cases.
There were 36 cases in southwest Sydney, 22 from the mid-north coast and 22 from Sydney.
NSW Health said a man in his 30s from Sydney's inner west who had received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine shortly before testing positive, died at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital on Tuesday.
A man and a woman, one in their 70s and one in their 80s, also died. Neither were vaccinated.
NSW Health's Marianne Gale called on people living in the inner west Sydney suburb of Dulwich Hill to remain vigilant for symptoms as cases there are on the rise.
She urged people to continue to come forward to get vaccinated saying it was "really important to get a second dose".
"We've really done an extraordinary job in NSW of embracing vaccination and it continues to be one of the best ways to reduce your risk of catching COVID-19 and passing it on to others."
Based on NSW data between August and October 2021, unvaccinated people were 24 times more likely to be admitted to hospital with COVID-19.
Meanwhile, the number of people in NSW hospitals with COVID-19 continues to decline.
There are now 418 COVID-19 patients in hospital - down 39 from the previous day - and 97 people are in intensive care, while 43 are ventilated.
The death toll from the current outbreak, which began in mid-June, is 506.
Of the NSW residents 16 and over, 93.2 per cent have received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 85.5 per cent of adults are fully vaccinated.
In the 12 to 15-year-old age group, 78.3 per cent have had their first dose and 53 per cent are fully vaccinated.
NSW Health's ongoing sewage surveillance program detected fragments of the virus in samples collected from across the state, including Leeton in southern NSW and Inverell in northern NSW.
Meanwhile, a leading epidemiologist has cautioned against fast-tracking plans for unlimited travel throughout NSW.
The highly anticipated move to unfettered travel to the regions is due to start on Monday after being delayed over lagging vaccination numbers in the regions.
Premier Dominic Perrottet has hinted it could happen sooner, saying his COVID economic recovery committee will be examining "aspects of the roadmap" this week.
However, UNSW epidemiologist Mary-Louise McLaws has warned against expediting travel to the regions where vaccination rates lag.
About 60 regions have less than 85 per cent coverage and 14 of those local government areas have a vaccine uptake of less than 75 per cent, she says.
"It's as low as, say, 50-odd per cent. So it will take them at least four weeks to get their vaccine rates up to 85 per cent," she said.
"It would be sensible to wait for at least four weeks, so that all the regions can get up to 85 per cent and be safe to receive visitors."
Australian Associated Press
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