While Tuesday's six cases across the region was the lowest number since August 11, Wednesday's spike was a stark reminder that we're not out of the woods yet. Twenty-seven cases were registered up to 8pm Wednesday, with 12 of those in Dubbo and one in Wellington.
"While some of those are household contacts we're still seeing a significant number that aren't linked...it would be very premature to think we've gotten in front of this current outbreak," Western NSW LHD Chief Executive Scott McLachlan said.
Of the 27 cases, at least six were infectious while in the community and 14 are being investigated.
The total number of COVID cases in Dubbo is now 735 and there are 1024 in the Western region.
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"That's (over) a thousand people and lives impacted in our region significantly by COVID with real potential for further spread across our regions so please everyone don't be complacent around this," Mr McLachlan said.
Testing numbers were worryingly low, with 1,700 for the region, 950 of those in Dubbo. Surveillance testing is being brought in from Friday in hopes it will encourage more people to get tested.
It means anyone who gets a test does not have to isolate while waiting for results, unless they have symptoms or are a close or casual contact.
"The results are coming back in about a third of the time of what it was two weeks ago, so they're much quicker and much more responsive," Mr McLachlan said.
While the state government announced 12 LGAs in regional NSW where stay-at-home orders have been lifted, Dubbo remains in lockdown. Local vaccination rates are increasing, but the 'road to freedom' won't be any shorter for the region if it hits the 70 per cent double vaccination rate ahead of the state average.
"The actual ability to try and open up earlier would be very difficult to manage and would really become quite confusing," Member for Dubbo Dugald Saunders said. "So the 70 per cent double vaxxed rate is for the entire state of NSW, it won't pinpoint any particular communities, any local government areas, any particular towns, it will be statewide."
Meanwhile the ADF has extended its stay in the region until the end of October, and some its clinics will administer first doses once again, including in Dubbo this weekend.
The focus will be on 12-15 year-olds who were not eligible the first time around.
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