Parkes Shire councillors, staff and indeed the community were relieved by the news today from Western NSW Health Local Health District that there has been no evidence of community transmission following an initial positive result reported in Parkes on Wednesday 2 September 2020.

Acting Chief Executive Mark Spittal from the WNSWLHD said, "a rapid response had been successfully stood up after an initial positive test result. That person remains in isolation, and contact has been made with all 18 close contacts, who have undergone testing with negative results."

Council's operational crews supported the activation and traffic management for the drive through clinics that were swiftly put into operation by WNSWLHD.

"We had a mobile testing clinic underway within several hours, which has so far tested more than 430 people over the past two days, with no positive results." Said Mr Spittal.

In welcoming the announcement today, Parkes Shire Mayor, Cr Ken Keith OAM thanked the community for their response and attendance at the clinics for testing, but we need to remain vigilant and ensure we maintain and potential future risks to our community.

"It’s a timely reminder for all of us that our region isn’t immune to COVID-19. We need to keep practising all the measures we know are effective," said Cr Keith.

The Mayor also strongly urged the community to rely on the information from the Health Service and not unofficial commentary from social media.

“We fully understand the desire of residents to have the most up-to-date information available however much of the information on social media was speculative and at times caused great distress to those families affected."

"I encourage everyone to wait for the factual information that the Authorities provide in these matters. These are difficult times and I know that our community would prefer that we support each other rather than escalate concerns. I am sure that the Parkes Shire community will join me in this request."

With the risk of community transmission reduced, Council will now ease some of the precautionary measures put in place in response to the incident, these are detailed as follows:

Reopening tomorrow Saturday 5 September:

  • Parkes Visitor Information Centre & Henry Parkes Centre

Reopening Monday 7 September 2020:

  • Council's Planning Counter
  • Council's Administration Counter will also revert back to normal opening hours
  • Parkes Shire Library Township Branches. (Parkes Library branch will remain closed to prepare for relocation back to Bogan Street refurbished facilities - online resources will remain available and can be accessed at any time from the Library section on our website)
  • Parkes Animal Shelter
  • Central West Family Daycare Office
  • Community Centre

The Parkes airport terminal will continue to be closed outside of scheduled flight times. The terminal will open for 45 minutes either side of arrival and departure flights.

For the latest updates related to Parkes Shire Council's COVID-19 measures, click here.

For the latest NSW COVID-19 news and advice, visit the NSW Health website.