A trip from Melbourne to the Sunshine Coast by a Victorian couple infected with COVID-19 threatens to end the Dubbo region's about 400-day reprieve from the deadly virus.
Last week's jaunt, which took in Gillenbah, Forbes, Dubbo and Moree, has put a shiver up the spine of inland NSW which Health Minister Brad Hazzard says should be on "high alert".
On Thursday morning, as motorists descended on a free pop-up testing clinic at Dubbo Showground, NSW Health released a list showing the dates and times the couple visited about a dozen venues in the four communities.
"NSW Health is continuing to investigate the movements of these cases in regional NSW, and this list of venues and times will be updated," it reported in a statement.
"NSW Health has identified 343 contacts as part of its investigations to date."
Dubbo's Reading Cinemas, CSC, Homestead Motel and Shell petrol station on the corner of Victoria and Whylandra streets are on the list.
NSW Health is asking people to get tested and self-isolate until otherwise informed if they visited Reading Cinemas on June 2 between 6pm and 10pm; the CSC on June 2 between 11.30am and 2.30pm; the motel between 12pm June 2 and 10am June 3, and the petrol station on June 2 between 10.30am and 11.30am.
On Thursday morning, state Member for the Dubbo electorate Dugald Saunders observed the queue of cars at the showground and commended the people coming forward for testing.
"The Western NSW Local Health District has mobilised quickly to establish a drive-through clinic at the Dubbo Showground," he said.
"..the scenes there this morning demonstrate that the Dubbo community is taking this situation seriously."
The drive-through clinic is set down for Thursday and Friday but Mr Saunders hasn't ruled out an extension.
"Police are managing traffic but I would urge motorists to exercise caution when travelling past the showground, and avoid the area if possible," he said on Thursday.
"It is wonderful to see the people of the Dubbo community doing the responsible thing and getting tested.
"It has been about 400 days since our region had a case of COVID-19 and we are yet to learn if the virus has spread to our community now."
Mr Saunders is "confident" Dubbo residents are proficient at hand hygiene, physical distancing, using QR codes, and staying home and getting tested if sick.
"But if we do see an outbreak, then the way we are going to get on top of that is for people to come forward to get tested, so we can identify cases quickly and stop the spread," he said.
NSW Health is urging Dubbo residents to get tested if they have "even the mildest of cold-like symptoms".
The pop-up clinic runs from 8am to 4pm. No appointments are required.
On Thursday, Queensland's Chief Health Officer Jeanette Young announced both the husband and wife who travelled through Dubbo last week had tested positive to COVID-19.
Visit nsw.gov.au/covid-19for information and advice.
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