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Moree COVID-19: NSW Health confirm new exposure sites include Moree clothing store Assef's and Coonabarabran Coles Express service station

TESTING: The queue at the drive-through testing clinic for COVID-19 at Moree Gateway on Thursday morning. Photo: Supplied
TESTING: The queue at the drive-through testing clinic for COVID-19 at Moree Gateway on Thursday morning. Photo: Supplied

Update 6:15pm:

NEW COVID-19 exposure sites have been added after further investigations by health authorities.

NSW Health confirmed the couple who roadtripped from Melbourne to the Sunshine Coast last week while potentially infectious also stopped in Coonabarabran and at additional Moree locations.

The updated list of exposure sites includes Coles Express in Coonabarabran as well as the Assef's store in Moree.

If you were at any of the following new venues of concern at the times listed, please immediately call NSW Health on 1800 943 553, get tested and isolate until you receive further information from NSW Health:

Moree Assef's clothing store on Balo Street

  • Thursday, June 3, 3pm-3:30pm

Coonabarabran Coles Express on John Street

  • Thursday, June 3, 11am-12pm

The more extensive list of exposure sites can be found below.

Update 3pm: 

BUSINESSES have been forced to close their doors for deep cleaning right before the long weekend, after two travellers went on a roadtrip through regional NSW whilst potentially infectious with COVID-19.

A cafe and a pub in Moree have to turn away customers on Thursday after they were listed as exposure sites visited by the Melbourne couple last week, who spent three days in Moree on their way to Queensland.

The Amaroo Tavern and Omega Cafe in Moree have confirmed their doors have closed, their premises will be deep cleaned and all staff will be tested for COVID-19.

The Gwydir Thermal Pools Motel and Caravan Park was also visited by the pair between June 3 and June 5, and the business announced it is working with NSW Health to "help protect the health of our community".

It is understood Woolworths in Moree - which the infected people visited - will remain open.

Anyone who attended the following venues in Moree at the times listed must immediately get tested and isolate until further information from NSW Health:

Gwydir Thermal Pools Motel & Caravan Park at 4 Amaroo Drive

  • Thursday, June 3, from 1:45pm onwards
  • All day Friday, June 4
  • Saturday, June 5, at 7:30am

Cafe Omega at 145 Balo Street

  • Thursday, June 3, from 1:30pm to 4:30pm
  • Friday, June 4, from 7am to 9:30am
  • Friday, June 4, from 11:50am to 2pm

Amaroo Tavern at Amaroo Drive

  • Friday, June 4, from 4:30pm to 11pm

Moree Woolworths supermarket on Balo Street

  • Thursday, June 3, from 3:30pm to 4:30pm

NSW Health said it is continuing to investigate the movements of the case in regional NeSW, and the list of venues and times will be updated.

The state health authority is in the process of updating the list of possible exposure sites and contacting close contacts.

The Amaroo Tavern could not open for State of Origin night and said it would be closed "until further notice", but hoped to welcome people back over the weekend.

Update 1pm:

THE MOREE council is working to get more COVID-19 testing kits into the area after a flood of locals fronted up for a swab on Thursday.

Moree Shire Council has released a statement advising staff are doing "everything possible" and are working with NSW Health to get more testing kits to Moree as soon as possible.

Earlier 12pm:

A NEW COVID-19 testing site which opened in Moree on Thursday has already reached capacity, after venues in town were put on alert that a positive COVID-19 case stopped over in the area.

Locals have been warned the drive-through COVID-19 testing site at Moree Gateway is experiencing a high volume of cars and there is a long delay, according to Moree Plains Shire Council. It opened at 9am on Thursday.

Local reports suggest the line-up could be more than three hours long.

The existing testing clinic at Moree hospital will be open from 8:15am to 6pm on Thursday and will continue those hours during the long weekend.

The Moree Respiratory Clinic on Anne Street is also doing COVID-19 swabs between 9am and 5pm between Monday and Friday.

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Laverty Pathology has set up a pop-up drive-through clinic in the Tourism Moree carpark, which is expected to open on Thursday and Friday between 9am and 3pm.

Locals have been told to seek out a test if they visited an exposure site at the specified times and isolate until further notice.

Anyone who lives or works in the area should be vigilant for even the mildest of symptoms and get tested immediately if they develop.

NSW Health has confirmed two positive COVID-19 cases travelled to Moree while potentially infectious, while on a roadtrip from Melbourne to the Sunshine Coast in Queensland.

The pair spent time in Moree between June 3 and June 5, including visits to the Gwydir Caravan Park and thermal pools, the Amaroo Tavern, the Omega Cafe and the local Woolworths.

NSW Health also confirmed the COVID-19 cases visited the Goondiwindi McDonald's restaurant between 7.35-7.50am on Saturday.

Moree Plains Shire Council confirmed the following local closures on Thursday:

  • Gwydir Daycare will be closed until Tuesday, June 15
  • Moree Community Library will be closed until Tuesday, June 15
  • Direct Customer Service in Moree and Mungindi will be unavailable until Tuesday, June 15
  • Dhiiyaan Aboriginal Centre closed until Tuesday, June 15
  • Moree Waste Management Facility closed until Tuesday, June 15
  • Mungindi municipal pools closed until Tuesday, June 15
  • Scheduled waste collections will operate as normal
  • Moree Regional Airport is operational

Council warned these closures are subject to change and updates will continue to come through.

Anyone who attended the following venues in Moree at the times listed must immediately get tested and isolate until further information from NSW Health:

Gwydir Thermal Pools Motel & Caravan Park at 4 Amaroo Drive

  • Thursday, June 3, from 1:45pm onwards
  • All day Friday, June 4
  • Saturday, June 5, at 7:30am

Cafe Omega at 145 Balo Street

  • Thursday, June 3, from 1:30pm to 4:30pm
  • Friday, June 4, from 7am to 9:30am
  • Friday, June 4, from 11:50am to 2pm

Amaroo Tavern at Amaroo Drive

  • Friday, June 4, from 4:30pm to 11pm

Moree Woolworths supermarket on Balo Street

  • Thursday, June 3, from 3:30pm to 4:30pm

NSW Health said it is continuing to investigate the movements of the case in regional NeSW, and the list of venues and times will be updated.

Residents should monitor the NSW Health website and social media for updates on testing clinics and COVID-19 case locations.

Find detailed information on testing sites here.

A statement from Mayor Katrina Humphries said the announcement that the two people had driven through Moree on their roadtrip from Melbourne to the Sunshine Coast in Queensland was shocking.

"[Wednesday's] announcement of Moree being a possible COVID area has shocked and saddened us all, but as usual we will be totally responsible and get on with getting tested and staying safe and looking after each other," the statement said.

"Everyone, please stay calm, go about your life with caution, and get tested. For those that are potentially close contacts just stay at home and await your results and be super responsible."

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This story More COVID-19 exposure sites added in Moree after regional roadtrip first appeared on The Northern Daily Leader.