The daily case numbers continue to climb, with NSW recording 239 new cases of COVID-19 since yesterday.
With Greater Sydney in lockdown for at least another four weeks, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said there were still 70 people infectious in the community.
She warned transmissions were still occurring in workplaces, households and in health settings.
"Based on those numbers we can only assume things are going to get worse before they get better," she said.
"We cannot continue to see the transmissions continue in these settings."
She warned of a stronger police presence and higher penalties for those who are not following the public health order rules.
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"Police will also be given the power to close a public premise, worksite or business if they continue to flout the rules," she said.
There were 111,000 people tested in the 24 hours to 8pm on Wednesday.
"We are making it easier for people to get vaccinated. Please come forward for vaccination," Ms Berejiklian said.
"It is our way forward out of this."
Two more people have died with COVID-19, bringing the toll of this outbreak to 13.
A woman in her 90s from south west Sydney died in Liverpool Hospital on Wednesday morning, and a man in his 80s from the same area passed away in Royal North Shore Hospital in the afternoon.
Greater Sydney and surrounding regions are in lockdown until at least August 28 as health authorities battle an outbreak of the virulent Delta strain.
Of the record 239 cases - which surpasses the 212 cases recorded on March 27, 2020 - at least 22 were in the community for part of their illnesses and 66 were infectious in the community.
The isolation status of 70 cases remains under investigation.
The source for 126 is still under investigation.
"We can only assume that things are likely to get worse before they get better given the quantum of people infectious in the community," Premier Gladys Berejiklian told reporters on Thursday
"Can we stress again, as we have in the past weeks - most of these transmissions are occurring amongst households and in workplaces, but also in health settings."
The majority of cases diagnosed to 8pm Wednesday were in the South Western Sydney Local Health District (LHD), accounting for 104 cases.
The next largest contingent, at 58, is in the Western Sydney LHD, followed by 51 in the Sydney LHD, 14 in the South Eastern Sydney LHD, five in the Nepean Blue Mountains LHD, three in Northern Sydney and four in the Illawarra Shoalhaven.
Fragments of the virus that causes COVID-19 have also been detected in sewage surveillance in the treatment plant that services the Armidale area.
NSW Health said it was aware of a recently-recovered case in the area, who acquired their infection elsewhere.
"People who have recently recovered from COVID-19 may continue to shed virus fragments into the sewer system for several weeks," the authority said.
"However, NSW Health still advises people to continue to be vigilant for symptoms.
"NSW Health continues to urge everyone throughout NSW, to get tested immediately if they have even the mildest of symptoms. High rates of testing are critical to detecting transmission and prevent further spread of COVID-19 in the community."
Dr Kerry Chant said it was important that "we break this cycle" of people not coming forward for testing soon enough.
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