HEALTH authorities are continuing to try and identify how a woman in Tamworth contracted COVID-19 and died in hospital.
The 58-year-old woman died in Tamworth hospital on Thursday, but testing only revealed she had coronavirus the day after she died.
Authorities won't reveal details on the woman, or when they believe she might have contracted the deadly infection, but she did live in the Tamworth Regional Council area.
Her death from the virus is now the 13th confirmed case in the Tamworth area - and the first case since March 30.
Hunter New England Health (HNEH) has confirmed the woman died in Tamworth of "complications related to COVID-19" but her positive test to the infection wasn't known until the day after she died.
"The woman was admitted to Tamworth Hospital where she passed away on 16 April," a spokesperson said.
"Testing confirmed a positive result for COVID-19 on 17 April.
"The woman's source of exposure remains under investigation. To ensure the privacy of the family, no further details will be provided.
"Hunter New England Local Health District offers its sincere condolences to her family and friends."
Her death follows the death of three Hunter people, aged 69, 74 and 76, from COVID-19 complications. Two of those people died in John Hunter Hospital, the other in Sydney.
Five new cases for the region were confirmed as at 8pm on Friday, taking the Hunter New England total to 276.
One of the new cases was confirmed in the Moree Plains Shire Council area.
It's the first confirmed case in Moree and comes just days after HNEH asked for more people to come forward for testing in the town because of low rates of COVID-19 testing.
It is the biggest rise in new cases for the region in almost a week, after only one new case in the previous four days.
There are seven COVID-19 patients in Hunter New England hospitals, including one in ICU, with 16 receiving Hospital in the Home support.
Two more patients were deemed to have recovered, taking the total cases recovered to 221 across the district.
"Hunter New England Health is really pleased to be able to report that over 200 of our confirmed cases have actually been released from isolation," HNEH health physician Dr David Durrheim said.
"This is very exciting, these are people who had COVID, have fully recovered and are now back into the community."
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