A TESTING blitz in Tamworth has uncovered no new confirmed COVID-19 cases, despite a massive increase in testing over the past 10 days.
Hunter New England Health (HNEH) has extended specialised drive-through clinics in Tamworth and Armidale to at least May 15, to allow even more people to get screened.
More than 2600 Tamworth residents have now been tested for COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, but the case count has remained at 13 for close to three weeks.
NSW Health data shows there is still one active coronavirus case in the Tamworth local government area residing in Attunga, and one active case in Gunnedah, but another Armidale patient had officially recovered according to the latest update.
Just less than 1000 Armidale residents had been screened for the virus, according to NSW Health.
NSW Health revealed on Wednesday afternoon that high-risk patients in Tamworth can get their coronavirus test results back within the hour and the high-speed kits are being rolled out across the state.
Rapid polymerase chain reaction (PCR) kits are being used in the city in the fight against COVID-19, allowing results to be ready after 60 minutes instead of the regular 24 to 48 hours for some patients.
NSW health minister Brad Hazzard said the equipment is designed to help high-risk patients in priority regional areas where "clusters of concern" were found.
In Tamworth, authorities were concerned about two coronavirus patients with a mystery source of infection, triggering the need for more efficient testing for vulnerable people.
"The faster we can isolate higher-risk patients and quarantine their contacts, the less likely they can unknowingly spread it to others," Mr Hazzard said.
The total case count for the HNEH district is 276, with no new coronavirus patients confirmed in the district in the last 24-hour testing period.
There were only three cases across the state confirmed in the same time period and all of them have a known source of infection.
HNEH is asking locals to book a COVID-19 test and make the most of the final week of the drive-through clinic.
To book a test, phone the Tamworth clinic on 1800 881 568 or the Armidale clinic on 0427 923 080.
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