As Dubbo went into lockdown, small business owner Julie Cross kept her cafe open, hoping that by following all the strict health guidelines they would be safe.
"But it wasn't to be," she said.
Cross Coffee House was named a venue of concern this week, one of a tally that by Thursday had reached 70 exposure sites in Dubbo alone.
Anyone who attended her Macquarie Street premises on August 11 between 6.50am and 7.03am is deemed a close contact, and is directed to get tested and isolate for a fortnight.
Dealt a blow, Mrs Cross reflected on the COVID outbreak spreading to the region she calls home, with 167 cases confirmed in Western NSW Local Health District in the eight days to 8pm on Wednesday.
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"Even though I'm sure we all knew it was only a matter of time before COVID made its way to Dubbo, it has certainly been a shock how quickly it has taken hold," she said.
"As a small business we decided to stay open and we were hoping that by following all the strict guidelines we would be safe, but it wasn't to be.
"The phone call from NSW Health was extremely upsetting and our first thoughts were for our family and all our customers and our fantastic staff member.
"We had already been tested due to shopping in Woolworths, with a negative result but will still need to self-isolate until August 25."
The cafe owner sees vaccination against COVID-19 as crucial.
"We have also had our first AstraZeneca jab a few weeks ago and urge all the community to go ahead and be vaccinated so that we can return to some form of normality," Mrs Cross said.
"I know that some people in the community are against wearing masks and vaccinations but I'm sure that if you weigh up all the pros and cons you will come to the conclusion that this is for the best for you, your family and friends and the larger community.
Stay safe Dubbo and keep supporting your local small business otherwise there will be none left.Cross Coffee House owner Julie Cross
"Stay safe Dubbo and keep supporting your local small business otherwise there will be none left."
Dubbo's lockdown, originally in place for one week, will now continue until at least August 28, with the NSW government making the announcement on Thursday to bring regional NSW in line with Greater Sydney.
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