Member for Coffs Harbour Gurmesh Singh has welcomed the NSW Nationals in Government’s commitment to protecting the health and safety of regional communities by broadening the eligibility for testing and doubling the capacity of the number of COVID-19 tests.

“Regional communities like ours face unique challenges to the impacts of COVID-19 which is why we are working overtime to ensure the transmission of the virus does not take over our towns,” Mr Singh said.

“By doubling the number of COVID-19 tests from around 4000 tests per day to 8000, we are easily able to identify cases, track their contacts and prevent community outbreaks.”

Health Minister Brad Hazzard said NSW will also work to support higher volumes of testing over the weekend as well as during the week, through both the public and private health systems.

“We have seen a drop in the number of tests on the weekend but that doesn’t need to be the case – we are testing every day of the week and want people to come forward on Saturday and Sundays,” Mr Hazzard said.

“The more people that get tested the quicker we can identify cases, track their contacts and prevent community outbreaks.”

NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said all people with symptoms of COVID-19 should come forward for testing.

“People with symptoms, including mild symptoms, are encouraged to be tested to ensure we identify as many cases of COVID-19 in the community as quickly as possible,” Dr Chant said.

If you have COVID-19 symptoms please:
• Contact your GP;
• Call Healthdirect on 1800 022 222;
• Visit a NSW Health COVID-19 clinic.

The NSW Nationals are also urging all health care workers, aged care workers or workers in other high risk or residential care settings with symptoms to come forward immediately for testing, and to make sure their occupational status is noted so their test can be prioritised.

Similarly any people who live in a residential care setting, or have contact with health care, school or residential care settings with symptoms are particularly encouraged to come forward for testing, and to make their contact with these settings known.

For links to the latest advice and updates please visit our COVID-19 information hub.