SPECIALTY coronavirus screening clinics at Tamworth and Armidale have been extended for another week after high demand for the tests.
Between opening last Monday and Sunday evening, close to 1400 people had been swabbed at the drive-through COVID-19 testing clinic at Tamworth hospital.
Hunter New England Health (HNEH) confirmed on Tuesday the clinics would now open until at least May 15, after "encouraging" levels of community uptake.
It's the second time the testing clinics have been extended by a week.
The total number of Tamworth residents tested for the virus is now at more than 2100 since the pandemic struck, according to NSW Health data.
Despite the massive increase in testing, no new cases of COVID-19 had been confirmed in the Tamworth local government area in the latest 24-hour testing period, and the case count remains at 13.
Hunter New England Health (HNEH) opened the temporary clinics in the two cities on April 27 after low rates of testing and concerns around community transmission.
Public health physician Dr David Durrheim said the drive-through clinics are convenient and work efficiently to map the occurrence of coronavirus in the community.
"In the last four days, it was 250 people a day that the clinic was able to screen. The [hospital emergency department] is equipped, but probably at a slower rate than that," he said.
Dr Durrheim said the more people tested in the community, the more confident authorities could be that no virus was being missed.
He said statistics show only 3.6 per cent of the Tamworth community have been tested.
"It's a good start, it's an encouraging start ... but as we get a higher proportion of people tested, we'll feel much more confident there is no virus being missed in the community," he told the Leader on Monday.
"I think when we get to about 10 per cent of the community tested, and approaching that, we'd feel very comfortable that nothing's being missed."
The Tamworth clinic is open every day between 9am and 4pm and people must book a test by calling 1800 881 568.
The Armidale clinic is open every weekday from 9am to 4pm and a test can be arranged by calling 0427 923 080.
Anyone with even the mildest of flu-like or respiratory symptoms is being encouraged to book a COVID-19 test.
The HNEH district case count has remained steady at 277 confirmed cases for more than a week now, and only three new cases were added to the NSW tally in the latest 24-hour testing period.
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