Western NSW Local Health District chief executive Scott McLachlan is certain COVID-19 is "creeping" around the region following another positive sewerage detection, this time in Dubbo.
Dubbo was one of four locations across the state identified by NSW Health on Thursday - the others were Armidale, Woy Woy and Castle Hill - where fragments of the virus were detected in sewerage, meaning people have either passed through and stopped with the virus or someone in those areas is recovering from COVID-19.
On the back of other positive sewerage tests in Mudgee and Molong in the last week, Mr McLachlan said now is the time for the western region to remain vigilant.
"With detections in Molong, Mudgee and Dubbo there's a high likelihood we've had people with the virus in our backyard," he said.
"We know COVID can be creeping in any of our towns, any day of the week. Now's not a time for people to relax.
"If anyone has signs and symptoms, please don't hesitate, get tested."
He said around 250 people had come forward for testing at Mudgee since that community's detection, but a higher rate of testing was important. While additional testing locations would be established in Dubbo.
The push to get tested has been a constant message from Mr McLachlan since an active case resulted in community transmission of the virus in the Western LHD in mid-July, resulting in that lockdown for the Orange, Blayney and Cabonne LGAs.
That active case of the virus is still being managed in the Western LHD, while there were no new cases of the virus in our region in the last 24 hours.
Sewerage samples from Molong have since returned negative test results.
However, similar sewerage detections and now some positive cases of the virus have resulted in a lockdown for Newcastle and the Upper Hunter regions.
Mr McLachlan said "swift" action needed to be taken in areas that have been exposed, and lockdowns in other areas of the state will likely continue.
"There has been a level of apathy, or a relaxed approach from regional NSW. We can see COVID on our doorstep, now's the time to be more vigilant than ever," he said.
On Thursday, NSW recorded 262 locally acquired cases reported to 8pm Wednesday night; 104 are from South Western Sydney Local Health District (LHD), 84 are from Western Sydney LHD, 42 are from Sydney LHD, 15 are from South Eastern Sydney LHD, 11 are from Nepean Blue Mountains LHD, three are from Northern Sydney LHD, one is from Illawarra Shoalhaven LHD, one is from Central Coast LHD and one is from Hunter New England LHD.
"If you don't have to go please stay at home in our region," he said.
Mr McLachlan had some pleasing news, though, confirming additional Pfizer vaccines would be arriving across the region to fill the void left by the State Government's decision to redirect doses into south-west Sydney.
The new doses were from the Federal Government's emergency supply.
"They'll be incredibly helpful to restart the vaccination services paused momentarily with the issues with supply for Pfizer," he said.
"That additional supply with let us get back to our schedule for people looking for a first dose."
Testing at the Orange Showground remains open.
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