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Australia Western NSW towns fight to remain COVID-free after Melbourne visitors

03:55  16 june  2021
03:55  16 june  2021 Source:   abc.net.au

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It's been 400 days since the last COVID case in Dubbo and locals desperately hope this won't change, after a couple with COVID-19 visited the western NSW town.

Hundreds of cars have queued down the street from the moment a pop-up COVID test clinic opened at Dubbo Showground, with cautious residents wanting to help stop the spread of Coronavirus.

It comes after a man and a woman, who have now both tested positive to COVID-19, visited western New South Wales last week, while travelling from Melbourne to the Sunshine Coast.

Several "venues of concern" have been identified by NSW Health, in towns including Dubbo, Forbes, Moree and Gillenbah.

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Anyone who attended those venues the same time as the potentially infectious couple is being told to get tested and isolate.

Impacted café forges on

One impacted venue is CSC café in Dubbo, with a positive COVID-19 case understood to have visited the venue on June 2 from 11:30am to 2:30pm.

"Our six key café staff members were working that day and are now isolating. But it's okay, we'll get through it," said café owner Errin Williamson.

"We've got a really amazing team here, all our staff want to help out. We’ll get through it."

"We had to contact all our staff, inform them of what happened and tell them to get tested. We've been offering them lots of support."

The café has remained open, at the advice of authorities who found CSC’s normal cleaning processes are thorough.

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"Luckily we actually already do deep cleans more than weekly," said Ms Williamson.

"I explained to (the NSW Health official) our deep clean process on the phone. She said that was perfect so we haven't have to do an extra deep clean."

"We started doing (those cleans) just after COVID so our normal processes were fine," she said.

The café will continue to run while staff members who worked on June 2 isolate.

"We are running with a much smaller team at the moment, we're bringing in staff members from our other business," she said.

Hundreds queue for COVID test in Dubbo

Local MP Dugald Saunders is commending residents for their quick response.

"The Western NSW Local Health District has mobilised quickly to establish a drive-through clinic at the Dubbo Showground, and the scenes there this morning demonstrate that the Dubbo community is taking this situation seriously," Mr Saunders said.

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"It's wonderful to see the Dubbo community doing the responsible thing and getting tested."

"We are yet to learn if the virus has spread to our community now."

The State MP said he hopes preventative measures will keep the community COVID-free.

"I am confident that the people of Dubbo have been practicing good hand hygiene, physical distancing, using QR codes to check-in, and staying home and getting tested if sick," he said.

"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."

The Dubbo Showground drive-through clinic will be open on Thursday and Friday from 8am-4pm, with no appointment required for the free COVID test.

"Please continue to do the right thing and follow the advice of health authorities. Our community has battled through drought, bushfires, floods and last year’s COVID-19 lockdown.

"We always come out the other side. We will get through this too."

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