NO cases of COVID-19 have been recorded in the Moree area after nearly 1000 people turned up for testing on Thursday.
More than 900 swabs were taken at the Moree hospital and the pop-up drive-through clinic at Gateway during the first 12 hours of testing, with hundreds more expected on Friday.
Members of the public have received test results in a matter of hours as swabs are picked up and flown to Sydney to be processed overnight.
Hunter New England Health (HNEH) executive director of clinical services Elizabeth Grist confirmed the announcement that no new local cases had been recorded in NSW overnight. Test results would have included Moree, which she was was a positive sign.
HNEH has urged anyone who lives, works or has visited Moree between June 3 and 5 to be on the lookout for even the mildest cold and flu symptoms.
"Often times people think that it's just a cold and you can get away with that a little bit in normal times but when you have had travellers that are confirmed positive ... we need to exclude that it's not COVID-19," Ms Grist said.
She told the Leader there had never been any kind of shortage of testing kits in the Moree area despite some media reports, no one would be turned away from getting a swab.
"Turn up, and we will test," she said.
It also won't slow down over the long weekend, with clinics in Moree extending their opening hours to make sure critical testing can keep up during the next few days.
NSW Health confirmed 355 close contacts had been identified by on Friday morning, after two people who tested positive for COVID-19 went on a regional road trip from Melbourne to Queensland between June 1 and June 5.
The couple stopped over in Moree and visited five known locations between June 3 and 5. A full list of exposure sites can be found below.
A pop-up COVID-19 drive-through testing clinic has opened in Coonabarabran overnight after it was revealed the couple stopped in at the Coles Express while potentially infectious.
More COVID-19 testing kits were flown into Moree on Wednesday night, boosting local supplies.
Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall announced the 2000 testing kits were flown in ahead of a big day of testing anticipated on Friday and into the long weekend.
Testing clinics will remain open in Moree for as long as required, Ms Grist confirmed.
Testing sites for the long weekend:
- Walk-in clinic with no booking needed
- Open daily from 8am and 6pm from Friday through to Monday
- No access from Alice Street
Pius X Aboriginal Corporation respiratory clinic
- Located on Anne Street
- Bookings required
- Open from 8:30am to 4:30pm from Friday through to Monday
Drive-through at Moree Gateway
- Drive-through service with no bookings required
- Open from 9am to 3pm on Friday and Saturday, but could be extended if needed
- Located on Blueberry Road off the Newell Highway
Tamworth drive-through clinic at Plain Street carpark
- Drive-through service with no booking required
- Open on weekdays between 7:45am and 3pm
- Open on Saturday between 7:45am and 12pm
- Closed on Monday, June 14 for the long weekend
Coonabarabran Coles Express on John Street
- Thursday, June 3, 11am-12pm
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
Moree Assef's clothing store on Balo Street
- Thursday, June 3, 3pm-3:30pm
What you need to do:
Anyone who attended the venues in Moree or Coonabarabran at the times listed above must immediately get tested and isolate until a negative result is received and await further information from NSW Health.
Anyone who lives, works or has visited the area should be extremely vigilant for the onset of symptoms, seek out a test immediately if symptoms arise, and isolate until a negative result is received.
NSW Health said it is continuing to investigate the movements of the case in regional NSW, and the list of venues and times will be updated.
Ms Grist reminded locals to keep up social distancing and good hand hygiene, and avoid crowded places for the next few days at least.
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.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: