Byron Bay Hospital is continuing to operate a COVID testing clinic. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Scott Powick
Byron Bay Hospital is continuing to operate a COVID testing clinic. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Scott Powick

5000+ people tested for COVID, and climbing

Thousands of people have been turning out for COVID-19 testing after a case of local transmission in Northern NSW.

One Northern NSW man in his 20s was reported as having tested positive to the virus late on Tuesday and a large number of locations have been flagged as having had contact with infected people.

Northern NSW Local Health District chief executive Wayne Jones has said while the LHD would usually record less than 400 tests daily, there were 800 on Monday, 2278 on Tuesday and 2523 on Wednesday this week.

"Testing has been fantastic, I want to thank the community that have come out in very, very large numbers," Mr Jones told the ABC this morning.

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Northern NSW Local Health District chief executive Wayne Jones.
Northern NSW Local Health District chief executive Wayne Jones.

 

Mr Jones said those figures don't include numbers from Commonwealth-run respiratory clinics.

"With GP and respiratory clinics also providing testing across the region, the total figure would be even greater," he said.

He stressed the restrictions placed on the Tweed, Byron, Ballina and Lismore LGAs as of 5pm Wednesday are enforceable, including the use of masks in all indoor public places such as shops, pubs and restaurants.

"This is now a public health order so it will be policed by NSW Police and it will be managed in accordance with the severity of what they're doing wrong," Mr Jones said.
"People will remember earlier in the pandemic there were a number of events … doof parties and so forth.

"People have really … reduced any misbehaviour."

Northern NSW has increased testing capacity with new pop-up and drive-through clinics to support existing services.

"Thank you to everyone who has come forward for testing so far, helping to protect themselves and their communities," Mr Jones said.

"I thank everyone for their patience over recent days during the periods of high demand.

"NSW Health is continuing to increase testing capacity across the region."

There are currently 18 testing clinics across Northern NSW. Find your nearest clinic here or contact your GP.

View NSW's latest COVID contact locations here and Queensland's list here.


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