Scott McLachlan reveals no new COVID-19 cases in Orange or Central West

No new positive COVID-19 cases in central west, but we can't relax yet

There were no new positive COVID-19 cases in the five affected Central West regions including Orange, Molong, Blayney, Bathurst and Parkes in a 24-hour period to 1pm on Friday.

However, Western NSW Local Health District Chief Executive Officer Scott McLachlan said there is still one active case in the community that is being managed in isolation at home.

"As a result of all the contact tracing we still have all the six venues of concern that have been identified, five of those in Orange and one in Bathurst, or in Raglan, just outside of Bathurst," Mr McLachlan said.

The five Orange sites are EG Fuelco Australia, Officeworks, Woolworths and CTC Orange at the North Orange Shopping Centre, and Pizza Hut.

Mr McLachlan also warned that the virus was "tricky" and there could still be positive cases in the community and called on people to be patient while they wait for test results, which have been delayed due to high numbers of people coming forward for testing.

"Just because you've been tested once it doesn't meant that's it, if you do have signs or symptoms come around for a second time," Mr McLachlan said.

"I know it's not the most enjoyable experience but it is something that will keep us all safe so please take that all incredibly seriously.

"This is a really crucial time for us the next two to three days, in the last 24 hours we saw 3500 people come forward to get tested, now that's nearly 10,000 people across Western NSW that's come forward in 48 hours to get tested.

Just because you've been tested once it doesn't meant that's it, if you do have signs or symptoms come around for a second time.

Western NSW Local Health District CEO Scott McLachlan

"Now that's a reasonably high level, we'd love to see that maintained in coming days, this morning there were still people coming through our testing clinics but not at the rate that we've seen earlier in the week so if there's any signs or symptoms or you've got any concerns then please come out and get tested in coming days.

He said the 3500 tests were conducted at pop-up sites in Orange, Bathurst, Blayney, Molong and Parkes but he would like that daily testing figure to be 4000 each day for those regions.

Across the whole health district there were 5500 tests in the same 24-hour period.

"Can I say a big thank you to the community and the people who came forward to be tested, we need, that number to stay high and for us to be confident that if there is COVID circulating around our region that we can get in front of it and stop it as quickly as possible," he said.

"There's been no changes to the public health orders in the last 24 hours the stay at home requirement is still in place right through until Tuesday next week for the Blayney, Cabonne and Orange local government areas.

"That's a very serious strategy to keep people from moving around the community so the stay at home requirement is very serious but you can leave home though for essential work, particularly where you can't work from home, for education, for health related services, and for essential shopping."

Mr McLachlan said this weekend will be important in stopping the spread and testing clinics will continue to operate.

"Coming into the weekend, this is a really crucial time, this isn't time to go to the neighbours for a barbecue or a beer, it's not time to go down town for a shop or for a pie," he said.

"We don't want to end up in the situation that Sydney is in at the moment with broad-spread COVID running throughout the community, this is our time to keep safe right across Western NSW.

"Can I please encourage people to come out and get tested if you do have any symptoms however mild or if you are at all concerned we do still have those drive-through pop-up testing clinics operating in those five locations and right across the region there's testing available through our local health service."

Mr McLachlan said it is also important that people continue to abide by stay-at-home orders due to knowledge that there are still people travelling through the region from the Sydney lock-down area.

He said that included some people from the Blue Mountains tried to visit Bathurst to get vaccinated.

Up to 8pm on Thursday there had been 26,195 tests conducted in the health district in the last four weeks.

Weekend testing sites: 

Saturday:

  • Molong - Old Railway Station - 9am-1pm
  • Blayney - Showground - 9am-1pm
  • Parkes - Showground -9am-1pm
  • Bathurst - Mount Panorama - 8am-4pm
  • Orange - Showground - 8am-4pm
  • Orange - Wade Park - 8am-noon
  • Orange - Old Bunnings Site - 8am-5pm

Sunday:

  • Molong - Old Railway Station - 9am-1pm
  • Blayney - Showground - 9am-1pm
  • Parkes - Showground - 9am-1pm
  • Bathurst - Mount Panorama - 8am-4pm
  • Orange - Showground - 8am-4pm
  • Orange - Wade Park - 8am-noon

Testing is available at the Canowindra Health Service by appointment. People can make an appointment by calling 6364 4300. Canowindra residents are also welcome to attend the drive through services in Molong and Orange.

This story No new positive COVID-19 cases in central west, but we can't relax yet first appeared on Central Western Daily.