The mayor of Moree in regional NSW says she’s “shocked and saddened” residents may have been exposed to COVID-19 after an infected Melbourne woman travelled through the town.
The woman made stops in Gillenbah, Dubbo, Forbes and Moree on her way to the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, where she tested positive to the virus.
More than 10 venues in the four towns have been identified by NSW Health as potential exposure sites, with more expected to join the list.
Among them are service stations, several cafes and a cinema in Dubbo.
In Moree, exposure sites include the Amaroo Tavern, Cafe Omega, Woolworths and the Gwydir Caravanpark/Motel and Thermal Pools.
Exposure at the sites occurred at various times on June 3, 4 and 5.
NSW Health says anyone who attended the listed venues must immediately get tested and isolate for 14 days, regardless of the test result.
Authorities are also urging anyone who has been in any of the affected towns to monitor for symptoms and get tested if unwell.
Moree Plains Shire Council mayor Katrina Humphries reassured locals in a statement on Thursday that “we will get through this”.
“As usual we will be totally responsible and get on with getting tested and staying safe and looking after each other,” Cr Humphries said.
“We will have a few anxious days and be inconvenienced, however if we do get any positive results back, we need to be mindful and caring.
“Virtual hugs to you all and remain the stoic and amazing community you always have been.”
Pop-up testing clinics will be set up in the affected towns and opening hours will be extended to support the increase in testing.
Queensland Chief Health Officer Dr Jeanette Young said the Melbourne woman developed symptoms on June 3, and it is believed she could have been infectious on June 1, the day she left Melbourne.
She was travelling with her husband, who has not yet tested virus-positive.
Authorities in Queensland and NSW are working to track down contacts and investigate whether she and her partner broke COVID restrictions.
Victorian health authorities have also held an emergency meeting with their NSW and Queensland counterparts over the matter.
The woman and her husband left Melbourne while the city was in lockdown, purportedly making a permanent move to Queensland. The couple are now at the Sunshine Coast University Hospital.