Two more dead with COVID-19 in the Hunter

Two more people have lost their lives with COVID-19 in the Hunter overnight, as the region records another 1,706 new infections.

They are a man from Lake Macquarie in his 80s, who was not vaccinated and a man in his 70s from Port Stephens, who was double vaccinated.

Hunter New England Health says they both had underlying health conditions.

It brings the total number of related deaths during the local outbreak to eight in under two weeks.

In the latest reporting period, the hospitalisation rate has risen to 99, up from 89 on Thursday. Intensive care admissions have also increased by two, to eleven.