Media Release distributed by Western NSW Local Health District 4 September 2020.

COVID-19 testing in the Parkes community has not returned any evidence of community transmission, which has led to the Western NSW Local Health District determining that a range of precautionary measures put in place this week can now be removed.

Acting Chief Executive Mark Spittal from the WNSWLHD said that 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.

“We are extremely conscious of how vulnerable many people in communities like Parkes are, and we were able to swing into action immediately and with sensible, effective measures.

“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. Parkes Council, local hospitals and operators of aged care facilities also put measures in place to protect the community, patients and aged care residents.

“Based on test results and expert medical advice we have now been able to advise those bodies that they may now consider removing those measures. Public hospitals and local Multipurpose Services around Parkes will also be able to admit visitors, subject to the current COVID-19 requirements.

“We know that the prospect of COVID-19 is really worrying for people in all our communities. It’s been very gratifying to see that our health services, local government and other organisations have been able to work so effectively together to mount a quick and comprehensive response when a risk became known.

“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 including:
- If you are unwell stay in, get tested and isolate
- Wash your hands regularly. Take hand sanitiser with you when you go out
- Keep your distance. Leave 1.5 metres between yourself and others
- Wear a mask in situations where you cannot physically distance.

“I want to thank the people of Parkes for working with us and for coming forward to be tested, and Parkes Shire Council and Service NSW in Parkes for the way they have worked with us,” said Mr Spittal

The mobile clinic will be open until 5pm on Friday at Northparkes Oval. It will move to Parkes Hospital from 10.00am to 5.00pm on Saturday with access via the main car park of the hospital.

A mobile clinic will also be running in Forbes at Harold Street, with entry via Court Street, from 9.00am to 5.00pm on Monday and Tuesday. The service is free of charge, and you don’t need a referral or appointment to attend.

Anyone with symptoms, even mild ones, should arrange to be tested.

Information on mobile testing in Parkes for SATURDAY 5 SEPTEMBER:

  • Located at Parkes Health Service, 2 Morrissey Way, Parkes.
  • Operating 10am to 3pm Saturday 5 September
  • Drive through service. People coming for tests are asked to remain in their car at all times. Staff will approach vehicles to take details and conduct the swab tests.
  • Test results normally take around 48 hours. People are encouraged to register for a service that provides negative test results even sooner.

Information on mobile testing in Forbes:

  • Located at Harold Street, entry via Court Street, Forbes.
  • Operating 9am to 5pm Monday 7 September, Tuesday 8 September.
  • Drive through service. People coming for tests are asked to remain in their car at all times. Staff will approach vehicles to take details and conduct the swab tests.
  • Test results normally take around 48 hours. People are encouraged to register for a service that provides negative test results even sooner.

For advice and information about COVID-19 visit www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/diseases/Pages/coronavirus.aspx

The latest information about COVID-19 cases across the WNSWLHD can be found here.