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

COVID FREE? How many days since the region’s last case?

OUR region has enjoyed a blessed run during the pandemic and it has now been 87 days since a resident tested positive for COVID-19.

The last confirmed case in the Northern NSW Health District occurred way back on July 25.

But despite the good results, the COVID-19 testing regime will go on and the clinics will continue to operate throughout Christmas and beyond.

What our region desperately needs to avoid is the dreaded "second wave" that has gripped Victoria and now parts of Europe.

While testing rates have increased since the NSW school holidays, Wayne Jones, Chief Executive Northern NSW Local Health District, won't be relaxing any time soon.

"Testing rates have risen slightly following a drop during the school holiday period, but we would like to see testing numbers climb even higher," he said.

"Testing remains one of the most important tools for finding and controlling the virus, even while case numbers are low in NSW.

"It is really important that anyone with symptoms, even if mild, gets tested and remains isolated until they receive a negative result.

"We urge people to come forward with even the mildest of symptoms, like a runny nose or scratchy throat, cough, fever or other symptoms that could be COVID-19.

Get tested on the day you get symptoms - don't wait to see if they go away. Assume it's COVID-19 until proven otherwise by a test, and remember there is no limit on how many tests you can have."

Hospital COVID-19 clinics in northern NSW would remain open for as "long as necessary".

"With the recent announcement that Commonwealth-funded GP-led respiratory clinics will likely remain open until the end of March 2021, there are multiple locations where local residents can get tested," Mr Jones said.

To find your nearest clinic visit https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/how-to-protect-yourself-and-others/clinics or contact your GP.