The region's health authority has announced changes to its daily COVID-19 reporting, but insists Dubbo residents will still have easy access to the number of new cases in their city.
For months, Western NSW Local Health District (WNSWLHD) has provided updates with statistics about infections in each of its communities identified, with 578 across the entire district in the 24 hours to 8pm Saturday.
From Monday, its update will "begin to focus less" on the daily number of new cases identified and "more on the impact on health facilities and front-line staff as well as vaccination rates, including booster shots", it says.
WNSWLHD chief executive Mark Spittal says the changes will be made progressively during the coming weeks "as we move forward through the pandemic, to focus on the most practical and important messages for the community".
"We want to show the daily impact COVID-19 is having on our staff and hospitals, as well as focus on the uptake of vaccines in the 5-11 age bracket and booster shots - we know these figures are important to our communities," he said.
"The number of new cases identified really just reflect on what is happening in the laboratory process.
"In previous phases of the pandemic they were useful but now the Omicron variant is in most of our communities, they are not the best indicator of risk anymore.
"We have been reporting the number of known cases identified across the district but with such good vaccination coverage, it's incredibly likely there are many undiagnosed cases of COVID-19 in our communities.
"Put simply, COVID-19 is everywhere and that's why we have consistently been encouraging everyone to take sensible precautions all the time, rather than using the number of new cases identified on any given day as a catalyst to be COVID-safe."
Last week in an interview with ABC Central West, Mr Spittal said there were about 200 staff not at work across the health district - which incorporates major centres Orange, Bathurst and Dubbo - on any given day because they were isolating.
On Sunday the WNSWLHD boss said the number of new cases identified each day, both by PCR and rapid antigen testing, would continue to be readily available to Dubbo residents on the NSW Health website and the Service NSW app.
Mr Spittal said they would be broken down to specific areas and WNSWLHD would continue to link to those sources, so that information was easily accessible.
"We need to focus on the number of people in hospital across the district because it shows not just the impact of COVID-19 on health services, but also the consequence of not being COVID-safe," Mr Spittal said.
Regardless of why people are in hospital, if they have COVID-19 their care requires significantly more resource and the wider impact of COVID-19 can place services under pressure.WNSWLHD chief executive Mark Spittal
"Regardless of why people are in hospital, if they have COVID-19 their care requires significantly more resource and the wider impact of COVID-19 can place services under pressure.
"The impact on people who need non-urgent elective surgery is absolutely real and we are determined to get surgery back to being fully operational as soon as the need for capacity for COVID-19 care subsides.
"The individuals aren't to blame, no one who is sensible intentionally catches COVID-19.
"But the reality is, the more we do as individuals and as a community to stay COVD-safe the more we'll help reduce the impact on health services, which means those services can cope better and resume normal activity quicker.
"We need our health services and workforce there for everyone, not just COVID-19 patients. That's particularly relevant as summer ends and enter colder months, when we typically have an upswing in demand.
"The best way for our communities to help is to get vaccinated as soon as possible, get the kids vaccinated now they are eligible, and get your booster shot as soon as you can.
"Remember, the vast majority of people who have COVID-19 can safely manage at home so have a 'Plan C' prepared if you, or someone in your household needs to isolate.
"That includes knowing how to manage your symptoms.
"Continue practicing all the COVID-safe measures we have become so familiar with - checking in using QR codes, wearing masks wherever required, practising good hygiene and staying home if you are unwell."