Orange COVID-19 testing rate increase exceeds that of biggest virus scares

Drive-through testing.
Drive-through testing.

As it was confirmed the ongoing COVID-19 crisis has leaked into regional NSW, the latest figures also revealed Young and Boorowa (Hilltops) testing rate appears to have spiked over recent weeks.

Similar increased testing rates have been recorded in Cowra, Canowindra (Cabonne), Grenfell (Weddin), Forbes and Parkes.

With a number of COVID positive cases having been caught travelling to the regions, and now a visitor to a private residence in Cootamundra subsequently testing positive for COVID-19, testing rates appear to have ramped up with more residents making sure they aren't carrying the virus.

According to NSW Health's figures in the last four weeks more than1168 tests were carried out at COVID clinics across the Hilltops region at a highest testing rate of 62 per 1000 residents.

In Cowra 700 tests have been conducted at an average of 175 per week, which equates to 56 people being tested for every 1,000 in the town.

In Cabonne, over the past four weeks 695 tests have been carried out at a rate of 51 people per 1000.

In Forbes 471 residents have lined up to be testing at a rate of 48 per 1000 residents.

Parkes has carried out the highest number of tests with 771 completed at a rate of 52 per 1000.

Weddin residents have pulled up their sleeve for the smallest number of tests which equates to a testing rate of 46 per 1000 residents.

The current rate is more than or close to double that for the same four weeks last year when in Weddin 88 tests were carried out, in Parkes 343, Forbes 239, Cowra 404 and Hilltops 604.

NSW Health figures reveal that from January 1, up until the week ending June 26, 5377 tests have been carried out in Cowra, 4852 in Cabonne, 3843 in Forbes, 6162 in Parkes, 1245 in Weddin and 8645 in Hilltops.

This week a visitor to a private residence in Cootamundra tested positive for COVID-19.

The person was in Cootamundra last Friday, July 16.

The household members have been identified as close contacts, and have been tested and are isolating in accommodation outside the Murrumbidgee Local Health District (MLHD).

MLHD said: "No community risk has been identified at this time" but as a precaution the MLHD Mobile Testing Clinic will be deployed to Cootamundra to enable local people to be tested.