THERE were no cases of COVID in the region on Tuesday, as the last day of winter delivered some respite from rising pandemic daily case numbers.
There were two cases in the Hunter, with Port Stephens and Lake Macquarie registered cases in the 24-hour window, with both linked to existing cases, while prison infections have continued to rise.
Hunter New England Health said a Windale case had been isolating while infectious and was linked to an exposure outside the suburb, while a Raymond Terrace case with links to a Dubbo exposure site was infectious in the community.
As of Tuesday, eight Hunter patients are in hospital and one requires intensive care.
There were four cases on the Central Coast, with six not allocated to a health district.
Across NSW there were 1164 cases in the 24 hours to 8pm on Monday, down from the 1290 fresh cases announced a day earlier.
NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard conceded there was not enough Pfizer stock in NSW, urging people to consider AstraZeneca.
Asked how much more Pfizer was needed, Mr Hazzard said "a lot".
"Health staff at the front line are just desperate to see us all get vaccinated," he said.
"If you are over 16 and you can get the Pfizer, look around, there are various opportunities on the booking systems, but you might need to be patient until the federal government can provide more Pfizer to NSW."
Three deaths were also recorded in NSW.
They included a woman in her 50s, a man in his 80s and a second man in his 90s. All were in Sydney hospitals, taking the outbreak's total death toll to 96.
August 31's update delivered a slight dip in the statewide case numbers, but the daily influx remains above 1000.
NSW chief health officer said there were 74 COVID-positive inmates at Parklea, 43 new in Tuesday's figures, with one staff member infected.
NSW Health said an eighth staff member at Bathurst Correctional Centre had also tested positive.
"In response to these outbreaks, NSW Health is working with corrections services in testing patients and staff, identifying and isolating contacts and providing immunisation to staff and inmates," the service said.
Corrective Services NSW locked down centres including Cessnock jail on Sunday as a result of the Parklea exposures, and has introduced rapid antigen testing at prisons around NSW.
More than 130,000 tests were conducted in the 24-hour period.
143 people are intensive care, with more than 800 in hospital.
With two thirds of the state's population having received a first dose of vaccination, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian urged those yet to get the jab to make it their goal for September.
"Once we know that you've signed up to your first dose we know that you'll be getting your second dose," Ms Berejiklian said.
Public health physician Dr David Durrheim has urged people to bring back "old fashioned" measures including social distancing, and to assume anyone they encounter could be infected.
"Over the weekend what is concerning is the number of cases that we know were infectious in the community," Dr David Durrheim said on Monday.
"We don't know if we were exposed to people who may have been infectious, we don't know if there are other chains of transmission. None of us want to be the source of ongoing transmission in the community."
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