Parkes MP Mark Coulton has pointed to Melbourne's rapidly increasing number of COVID-19 cases as a wake-up call for western NSW communities to get back to preventive measures.
The Minister for Regional Health reports of "a real slackening of some of the social distancing people are undertaking".
Among what's at stake are business operations and keeping the region open to tourists, he says.
"I was in a cafe in Dubbo the other week and they were very strict with the clientele, getting them to sign in and use hand sanitiser, they had their seating worked out precisely," Mr Coulton said.
"But in general terms I have seen a relaxation of social distancing and what we've seen in Victoria could quite easily come across the border and so if we want to keep businesses, if we want to keep tourists and visitors coming to our towns, then we still need to remember the coronavirus is still a big threat.
"And we need to manage to adapt our behaviour with the social distancing and hand cleanliness and all the other things that are recommended, so that we can keep our businesses running as near to normal as possible."
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The MP was speaking on Tuesday in the last hours before the border between NSW and Victoria closed.
Mr Coulton said of the step taken by the two states' respective premiers: "Sadly I think it had to come."
"We had 191 cases in the past 24 hours, that's the information I just got an hour ago, in Victoria, and so that's the largest daily infection rate we've had since the coronavirus came to Australia," he said.
"And so I think we really haven't got to the peak of this yet."
The minister said he thought there had been a feeling that "we had actually beaten it" and that was "a little bit dangerous" because there had been occasions of large crowds gathering and not social distancing.
Mr Coulton also urged the public to support people who had tested positive.
"We saw this early on in Dubbo, when we had those couple of cases right at the start," he said.
"We saw quite a vicious commentary on social media trying to identify who the people were... if people are reluctant to get tested, reluctant to identify that they are positive, because one, they don't want to be locked up for two weeks, and they're worried about vilification from the general public, that's a very dangerous situation because then we lose track of who has the infection and then it's very difficult to manage the controls that need to happen."