The Hunter escaped adding to its COVID-19 death toll on Monday, as the Hunter New England Health District recorded 1867 fresh positive results.
However one person with the virus in the New England area - a Tamworth man in his 80s - and another on the Central Coast lost their lives in the 24 hours to 8pm.
Of the new positive test results recorded in the Hunter New England region, 1108 came from rapid antigen tests while PCR tests contributed 759.
The rapid antigen test results include some cases where an individual has taken multiple tests, or a rapid antigen test and PCR test in the same reporting period.
The number of people in hospital dropped from 92 to 81 day-on-day, but there was an extra two patients - a total of seven - in intensive care.
It came as NSW recorded 18,512 new positive results during the 24-hour period.
Of those, 9090 came from rapid antigen tests and 9422 from PCR tests.
There are 2943 people with the virus in hospital across the state - 183 of those patients in intensive care units.
Meanwhile, the NSW government announced on Tuesday morning that it would extend existing COVID-19 restrictions for another month until February 28.
This means the one person per two square metre rule will remain at hospitality venues, masks will continue to be required in all indoor settings other than homes, QR code check-ins will be compulsory at certain premises and the ban on singing and dancing at indoor venues will go on - except at weddings, for performers, instructors and students.
NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet said the government decided to continue with those restrictions to protect the community and healthcare system.
"We have always said we will respond to what is in front of us and tailor our approach as required and that is exactly what we are doing," he said.
"We are transitioning to living with COVID and we will need to continually update our approach to ensure we are keeping people safe and protecting our health system."
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