Cowra Shire Mayor Bill West has praised the Cowra community for its amazing response to the first recorded case of COVID-19 in the shire.
Around 2000 people were tested at the Cowra Showground between last Friday and Tuesday, with the Western NSW Local Health District running a pop-up surveillance testing clinic at the Cowra Showground.
The testing clinic was been set up as part of a pilot program in response to two positive sewage tests last week, the first evidence of COVID-19 having been in Cowra, and extended into this week in response to the positive test, which was confirmed on Sunday. Cowra has since been placed into a snap, 7-day lockdown, due to end next Monday.
Under the surveillance testing, anyone can get a free COVID test even if they do not have any symptoms, or have been identified as a close or casual contact of a positive case.
Mayor West labelled Cowra’s response as “tremendous”, and paid tribute to all locals that have been tested so far.
“The awareness of the community has been fantastic, and the response shows the community is willing to work with authorities to stamp out a potential outbreak,” he said.
“I’d also like to congratulate the business community for showing leadership by ensuring their businesses were operating in a COVID-safe way as soon as the positive case was made public and before the lock-down was announced. It shows a wonderful sense of community.”
The WNSWLHD encouraged people in Cowra to continue coming forward for testing over the coming days.
A spokesperson from the WNSWLHD said it was especially important for locals who have spent significant time in the community to get tested.
“If someone’s not come in contact with anyone for two weeks and not left their house, well, it doesn’t make sense for them to get tested, but someone who, for example, is out and about for work and might see a few people here and there, should get tested,” they said.
Mr West also praised Cowra’s high vacci-nation rates, which at the time of writing sat at 80% first dose and 44% second dose. Testing will continue from 9am-4pm at the Showground for the rest of this week.
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