- This story will be updated, please refresh your browser for the latest information
NSW has recorded more than 1000 daily COVID-19 cases and regions will stay locked down for another two weeks.
More than 151,000 tests were carried out across the state on Wednesday, breaking the record 149,000 tests and the nation's highest daily tally of the pandemic the previous day.
Stay-at-home orders in place for regional NSW will stay in plcae until at least 11.59pm on September 10, bringing the regions into line with Greater Sydney's existing orders.
The majority of the 1029 cases to 8pm Wednesday, announced by premier Gladys Berejiklian on Thursday morning, were concentrated in metropolitan Sydney. Western Sydney Local Health District [LHD] alone recorded 403 cases, NSW Health said.
In other news:
The Sydney local government areas comprise 80 per cent of cases, Ms Berejiklian said, and urged people in those areas to adhere to the health advice.
"As far as western NSW is concerned we have seen obviously the concern level there continue ... however there has been a stabilisation of cases across the regions with the exception of western NSW."
Three more people have also died with COVID-19 at home in western Sydney, a man in his 30s, a man in his 60s and a man in his 80s. All three were unvaccinated.
Western NSW, where 35 more cases emerged in the 24 hours to 8pm Wednesday, remains a high concern, the premier said. Dubbo recorded 25 new cases, three were found in Orange, Bathurst and Bourke had two each, and single cases discovered in Forbes, Mudgee and Parkes.
There are also growing concerns for more regional areas, as detection of virus fragments in sewage surveillance has been made in several locations where there are no cases.
NSW deputy premier John Barilaro said the fight was far from over.
"We are on a knife edge in regional NSW," Mr Barilaro said.
"The decision to extend the lockdown is one to protect the regions and protect communities.
"Now is the time to stay united."
NSW Health's program has detected fragments in treatment plants in Tamworth, Merimbula, Cooma and Brewarrina.
The plants service a combined 69,000 people.
Everyone in those areas is urged to monitor for the onset of symptoms and to get tested and isolate immediately until a negative result is received.
Some freedoms are on the horizon, as the premier announced that from September 13, outdoor gatherings of up to five adults - including children and all adults must be vaccinated - will be allowed in a person's LGA or within five kilometres from home.
"That five can include children, but as long as it's adults all of them will need to be vaccinated," Ms Berejiklian said.
"We know that people coming together is what people miss the most."
The interstate, trans-Tasman situation:
A plan for returning to schools is expected later in the week.
Hundreds of tests have been carried out in Temora, West Wyalong and Beckom after several exposure sites were listed in the region earlier in the week.
The Murrumbidgee Local Health District [LHD] revealed on Tuesday that an asymptomatic essential worker from outside the region visited locations in Temora and Beckom while potentially infectious on August 16 and 17.
On Wednesday, 320 people were tested at Temora Town Hall, 90 at Beckom BP Roadhouse, and 43 at West Wyalong.
It's a tinderbox ready to explodeDeputy premier John Barilaro
Temora mayor Rick Firman said it is a big relief for the town to have all the workers at its COVID-19 exposure sites test negative after the infected non-resident visited.
Almost a third of NSW has been vaccinated, with the Riverina's jab figures on the rise and mirroring that of the state.
Government data has revealed 30.9 per cent of the region's population over the age of 15 is now fully-vaccinated against COVID-19, up from 26.4 per cent the week prior.
Residents of @temorashire are doing the right thing & getting COVID tests after a number of exposure sites in #Temora & #Beckom.— Michael McCormack (@M_McCormackMP) August 25, 2021
If you have the slightest of symptoms, please get tested.
You are helping to keep your friends & family safe, your community safe & your nation safe. pic.twitter.com/RRcqHgUbDn
Well over half the local population - 54.6 per cent - has had their first dose, a promising sign that Wagga MP Joe McGirr says must continue.
"I encourage anyone who is eligible, but who hasn't yet booked an appointment, to do it," he said.
"As a community, we need to continue to look after ourselves and each other."
More on the pandemic:
A southern Riverina woman has also been charged after allegedly coughing in the face of a police officer and declaring she had COVID-19.
The incident allegedly occurred when police were conducting a welfare check at a home in Deniliquin about 10.30pm on Tuesday.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: