TESTING is now a priority ahead of the holidays as a COVID outbreak in Newcastle explodes and spreads to the regions with Armidale LGA recording four new cases today.
Tamworth also recorded three new cases while Inverell and Moree Plains shires added one each.
A total of 633 new COVID cases were diagnosed to 8pm Wednesday night, December 15 in the Hunter New England Health District.
There are 1452 active cases in the district, with nine being cared for in hospital and two are in ICU.
Of the 633 new cases:
After restrictions eased yesterday, NSW Health said it urged the Newcastle community to "seriously consider deferring any social events in Newcastle until after Christmas in order to help keep family Christmas gatherings safe, and to help protect their loved ones, the vulnerable and our essential workers".
HNEH had more than double that of the district with the second highest number of cases, South Eastern Sydney - which had 231.
There are currently 50 active cases in Moree, 12 in Armidale, six in Inverell and one in Gwydir LGAs.
In the latest vaccination figures, Uralla is the first LGA in the Northern Tablelands to reach the 100 per cent vaccinated milestone.
There are still three shires in the region to hit the 90 per cent milestone for double doses, with 89.4 per cent of eligible residents in Armidale, 87.7 in Moree and 88.5 in Tenterfield shires fully vaccinated.
The Glen Innes LGA is 94.2 per cent double vaxxed while Inverell is at 93.3 per cent.
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