A COVID-19 test clinic could be a week to 10-days from set-up in Tamworth.
Minister for Health Greg Hunt has confirmed Tamworth is in the top two priority locations for the region.
"We are moving quickly, but not so fast that we compromise our careful, expert infection prevention and control set-up, assurance and training arrangements," he said.
"Patient safety and not risking further spread of the virus must be paramount."
North West Health has been in negotiations with the Hunter New England and Central Coast Primary Health Network (PHN) on a Community Respiratory Clinic for Tamworth.
Without a contract from the Department of Health it can't move forward. But, a lease is ready to be signed, a builder is ready for fit-out as well as crucial nursing and staff.
We have to play our part and that part is slowing the progression of the virus, diagnosis is a crucial part of that.Member for New England Barnaby Joyce
Member for New England Barnaby Joyce has been in Canberra working to secure the clinic 100 per cent, he said.
"This is imperative, to make sure the issues in managing COVID-19 are dealt with in the New England," he said.
"We have to play our part and that part is slowing the progression of the virus, diagnosis is a crucial part of that. "If we slow it down we can manage it, I can't give you an exact time frame for the clinic yet because I don't know, but it will be as soon as possible."
PHN chief executive Richard Nankervis said the finer details are to be confirmed.
"It is vital that infection prevention and control set-up is in place before we open the clinic," he said.
Another 17 people have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the Hunter New England Health district, at a total of 47.
The Leader understands a Tamworth man, who was a passenger on an international cruise, has tested positive and is in isolation at home recovering.
The district's first patient has fully recovered.