NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said there were 344 cases to 8pm on Tuesday, with at least 65 infectious in the community for all or most of their infectious period.
"In the last few days we have seen a surge in the number of cases and we expect that to continue," she said.
"We ask the community to keep at it, to keep going, and to make sure you stick to the rules."
Two men, in their 90s and 30s, died in hospital. Both were unvaccinated and Ms Berejiklian said the younger man had underlying conditions.
119,000 tests were conducted in the 24-hour period.
"We really want to encourage people to keep coming out for testing," Ms Berejiklian said.
The Dubbo local government area will go into a one week lockdown from 1pm Wednesday.
On Tuesday evening authorities confirmed a person at Dubbo West Primary School had tested positive to COVID-19. A second case has also been confirmed by the NSW government.
The Hunter had added 13 cases the day before, which took the running total to 39.
Tamworth, Armidale and the north coast escaped without fresh cases but Ms Berejiklian said Hunter New England "did not look as positive".
"Unfortunately in the Hunter New England area there were I believe 14 new cases overnight," Ms Berejiklian said.
"Hunter does not look like it will come out of lockdown this week, however we'll await the health advice."
Ms Berejiklian on Tuesday would only say a decision on extending lockdown would be made based on health advice from Dr Chant while NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard flagged potential changes to rules governing movement between Sydney and the regions.
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Hunter New England Health advised on Wednesday that "due to the increasing number of cases, we can no longer provide individual case breakdowns".