In response to yesterday afternoon's "shock" announcement of a positive Covid case visiting Moree, the community has been encouraged to get tested with a site opening today.
Moree Plains Shire Mayor, Katrina Humphries, said, "The news had saddened us all, but as usual we will be totally responsible and get on with getting tested and staying safe and looking after each other".
This morning (Thursday, June 10) at 9am the drive-through testing clinic will start at the Gateway site. Access is only from the Newell Highway onto Blueberry Road, to then follow the directions of the teams who are there to help.
"We cannot start earlier as we have to wait for the testing teams to arrive," councillor Humphries said.
"Please be patient, be polite, take some entertainment with you and some nibbles, but remember there won't be toilets at the Gateway so possibly don't have that second cup of coffee!
"Moree, we will get through this. 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 of our community. This is no fault of any of our residents, and if anyone becomes ill we need to look out for them and give them moral support.
"Everyone, please stay calm, go about your life with caution, and get tested. For those that are potentially close contacts just stay at home and await your results and be super responsible."
There will be extra opportunities to get your vaccination, and if more resources become available from NSW Health, there could be the possibility to set up more testing sites. "We will advise ASAP if this happens," the Mayor said.
Northern Tablelands MP, Adam Marshall, said more testing was being made available for locals.
"It is incredibly important that the people of Moree seek testing for COVID-19 at the onset of even the mildest of cold-like symptoms," Mr Marshall said.
"The existing clinic at Moree Hospital will be open today (Thursday) from 8.15am to 6pm and Laverty Pathology will also have a pop-up drive-through clinic established in the Tourism Moree carpark.
"Residents should monitor the NSW Government's website and social media for updates on testing clinics and COVID-19 case locations.
"COVID-19 symptoms include, fever (37.5 degrees or higher), cough, sore throat, shortness of breath (difficulty breathing), runny nose, loss of taste and loss of smell.
"Everyone must immediately come forward for testing if any of these symptoms appear, then isolate until a negative result is received."
Meanwhile, a number of council services will also be shut over the coming days.
Gwydir Daycare will be closed until Tuesday, June 15, along with the Moree Community Library, direct customer service in Moree and Mungindi. These dates are subject to change. Regular updates will be provided in the coming days.
All Council meetings and the citizenship ceremony scheduled for today will be postponed and rescheduled in due course.
"Virtual hugs to you all and remain the stoic and amazing community you always have been."