TESTING numbers for COVID-19 have peaked across the region as smaller towns increase their screening rates, but the confirmed case count has not risen locally.
Hunter New England Health (HNEH) opened specialised clinics in Glen Innes, Inverell and Gunnedah on May 18, and said the uptake has been promising.
The Inverell facility had screened 184 people between the opening of the clinic and May 22, while Gunnedah had swabbed 136 in the same period.
Glen Innes had tested 93 locals between the opening of the clinic and May 21.
HNEH public health physician Dr David Durrheim said the three clinics are booked out and will continue to operate until the demand drops.
"We've put in a big search in the Hunter New England to hunt the virus and we're not finding it which is excellent," he said.
"It's really reassuring to see that people are getting tested and it'll give us more confidence that we aren't missing the virus in those towns as well."
The HNEH blitz in Tamworth has wrapped up, but Dr Durrheim said locals have continued to present for testing at GP clinics and the hospital.
More than 4300 of the city's residents have now been screened for the novel coronavirus, but the confirmed case count has been stable at 13 since April 17.
However, Dr Durrheim warned the easing of restrictions does not mean forgetting about the measures which have helped slow the spread of the pandemic virus so far.
"We don't think that we're through the woods yet with this virus ... so it does mean that particularly now with the relaxation of measures, that we need to be even more alert to the possibility that the virus might re-emerge," he told the Leader.
Dr Durrheim said no one should miss out on a COVID-19 test, and anyone feeling even mildly ill with respiratory symptoms should be seek out a test in their local area.
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