THERE are no current plans for the Dubbo local government area to be declared a COVID-19 area of concern, despite an "extremely concerning day" leading to a significant rise in case numbers.
Up to 8pm on Tuesday there were 49 new cases of COVID-19 recorded in the Western NSW Local Health District, and a further seven in the Far West Local Health District.
Of those in Western NSW, 35 were in Dubbo, seven in Bourke, five in Orange, one in Narromine and one in Walgett.
And while crisis cabinet members are anticipating an extension of lockdown orders, to be announced on Thursday, Member for Dubbo Dugald Saunders said "at this point in time the benefit cost ratio looks like [a hotspot declaration] is not the way to go at the moment."
With the declaration Dubbo LGA would be under tighter restrictions, while also having more access to government support as those areas in Sydney currently have.
"There are lots of different scenarios that happen if other areas are declared a hotspot, so, it changes the way everything can happen. Things that are possible right now for certain business would not be possible under a hotspot declaration," he said.
"Can that change, yes it could. If things are deemed to be in such a situation that there is no other way out, and that's more of a discussion with the chief medical officer and health districts to be working on that, if that is what it ends up being then we look at it when it happens.
"What we are doing right now is playing what we have right in front of us, and at the moment if people are doing what they can and following the stay at home orders then we all have the chance to come out of this at some point, as close as possible to now.
"But it requires us all doing the right thing."
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Across the district there are 369 cases, with Western NSW Local Health District chief executive Scott McLachlan saying it was a "concerning level" with Dubbo having around 80 per cent of the cases in the region.
"[It is] a real concern in Dubbo, the significant growth in cases, and can I please urge everyone in Dubbo to stay at home, test as soon as you have any mild symptoms, and please stay apart from each other.
"Do everything that has kept us safe in the past 12 months, they are even more important now."
Mr McLachlan said 28 of the 49 cases had known links to other cases or a transmission point - with 21 of those household contacts - while seven others have links to known clusters.
Eight people were infections while in the community, with 20 still under investigation. However, Mr McLachan said none of the Bourke or Narromine cases were infections in their communities.
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