A prominent doctor in Dubbo is calling for reinforcements as the battle against COVID-19 immobilises his colleagues.
Emergency physician Dr Randall Greenberg says "in Western NSW we're desperately short of doctors".
In a post on the state government's Western NSW Health Jobs Facebook page, Dr Greenberg pleads for help.
The long-time emergency physician at Dubbo Hospital, who also serves as chief medical officer for the Royal Flying Doctor Service in NSW, reveals the toll the coronavirus is taking on the ranks of doctors.
".. in these extraordinary times, unfortunately as predicted, some of our staff are now having to go into quarantine and we predict that those numbers will increase.
"As a result, in Western NSW we're desperately short of doctors.
"Anything that you can do to help, whether you work for us and you can do extra shifts or you know someone who can come and help us would be much appreciated."
Last week the Western NSW Local Health District declined to say if Dubbo Hospital staff were being tested for coronavirus and how they were being protected against infection.
The health district was also tight-lipped about how many people with coronavirus had become inpatients of the hospital.
In response to the Daily Liberal's questions, a health district spokeswoman said international experience had shown about 80 per cent of people who contracted COVID-19 would likely experience mild illness and be able to self-isolate at home without any need for hospitalisation.
"Of those with more severe infections, only around five per cent require intensive care," she said.
"NSW is upscaling its level of preparedness for COVID-19, with moves under way to double intensive care capacity across the state."
The spokeswoman said testing for coronavirus was recommended for people admitted to hospital with severe respiratory infection, even if they had not returned from overseas.
"Government advice is that people without symptoms do not need to be tested," she said.
As of Tuesday morning there were 36 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the health district where 2027 tests have been conducted.
The number of confirmed cases in the Dubbo Regional Council area was stable at six.
The health district continues to promote social distancing, saying it is "important for everyone" including health professionals who "need to stay well to provide care to people who become sick with COVID-19".