NSW has recorded 177 cases and its 11th death, and will extend its greater Sydney lockdown by four weeks.
Also, some Pfizer allocations in regional NSW will be redirected to a vaccination program for year 12 students in Sydney.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said 46 cases were infectious in the community.
"It would have not been possible for us to come out of lockdown tomorrow, or Friday," she said.
"All of those areas currently in lockdown will continue to be in lockdown.
"We've managed to keep the disease out of the regions, by and large, and the regions will continue to have the existing restrictions without having to have anything further imposed on them at this stage."
This means mask-wearing, capacity limits and limits on visitors to the home will continue in regional NSW.
The 177 cases is a new tally high since the outbreak began, after the record of 172 for this outbreak recorded yesterday.
Ms Berejiklian said the NSW government will be vaccinating year 12 students in Sydney and allowing only them to return to schools, in a couple weeks' time.
The Premier said the program that will happen to get senior students back into school in locked-down areas is supported by regional supply as the state hadn't received any additional doses.
"I want to thank in advance regional NSW, where we will take some Pfizer vaccines (from), given the changing advice around AstraZeneca and make sure ... those year 12 students are provided vaccination," she said.
"People with the vaccine are staying out of hospital, and they're spreading it less than others ... please get vaccinated."
The Premier was asked by a journalist how many vaccines would be redirected in the "tough call".
She said "tens of thousands" of vaccines of Pfizer would be needed for those year 12 students and "some of these will be taken from the bush, not all of them".
"In a pandemic, you have to make difficult decisions," Ms Berejiklian said.
"I don't think anybody would begrudge us doing everything we can to get year 12 students safely back to schools ... Dr Chant's advice to us was, if you want year 12 face-to-face in those local government areas, they must get vaccinated.
"Where perhaps the other states haven't been as generous, (to) our own rural and regional New South Wales, who've stuck by us and we've stuck by them through thick and thin, we're one team ... I want to say thank you."
Ms Berejiklian said the biggest challenge in the roll-out in the bush was "making points of access available" and noted the advice had changed in relation to AstraZeneca.
"There are more than 100 sites now across rural and regional NSW, plus a lot of regional pharmacies that are being stood up as well," she said.
"The access points for the vaccine have increased, and it's really just putting a pause for a few weeks on some people in the bush, who want to get the Pfizer ... every adult can get the AstraZeneca."
Ms Berejiklian said she was glad schools had stayed open in regional NSW when other states had shut them and defended restrictions imposed so far.
"Our authorised worker's list is very short, Victoria's list was about 17 pages in comparison," she said.
"We're asking a lot of those eight local government areas."
NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro expressed his support for the vaccine supply redirection, as the "biggest threat" to regional NSW was cases in Sydney - justifying increasing vaccination rates in outbreak areas.
"To support year 12 students in those eight LGAs, where we are redirecting Pfizer doses from regional and rural New South Wales ... supports students in their most important part of their educational journey," he said.
"To the people of regional and rural NSW, can I say firstly thank you, because the opportunity for vaccination continues as we roll that AstraZeneca right across the state.
"To redirect doses from the bush to those LGAs is appropriate and supported."
Those in locked-down areas in Sydney now must shop for essential reasons within a 10-kilometre limit.
On Victoria's first day out of lockdown number five, there are eight cases but a new case in a traffic controller at a testing site has been reported since the tally's release.
Our COVID-19 news articles relating to public health and safety are free for anyone to access. However, we depend on subscription revenue to support our journalism. If you are able, please subscribe here. If you are already a subscriber, thank you for your support.