THE New England North West is free of confirmed cases of coronavirus for the first time since March.
The pandemic hit a promising milestone when Hunter New England Health (HNEH) confirmed on Monday all patients diagnosed with the infection across the region have officially recovered and been released from isolation.
Despite contradictory information on the NSW Health heat map, HNEH told the Leader all patients confirmed to have the COVID-19 virus in the Gunnedah and Armidale postcodes have officially recovered from the infection.
Tenterfield, Glen Innes, Moree, Inverell, Uralla and the Liverpool Plains all have no confirmed active cases of coronavirus, after patients residing in those areas recovered.
HNEH confirmed the Tamworth local government area was COVID-19 free in early May, and no new cases have been confirmed since April 17.
Tamworth had a total case count of 13 people. Twelve made a full recovery while one patient tragically died from COVID-19 complications on April 16, the day before her positive test result came back.
The 58-year-old woman is the only patient across the region confirmed to have died as a result of the novel coronavirus. All other diagnosed cases in the New England North West have recovered, including four in Armidale, three in Inverell and one in Gunnedah.
Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall said it's a good sign all ten cases in his electorate have been released from isolation, but warned the community is "not out of the woods".
"As you can see, large sections of our lives are coming back on-line. For this to continue we all need to keep doing our bit by washing our hands, using sanitiser and keeping the distance ... please keep watching out for your family and friends and stay safe," he said.
Screening numbers for the virus have been soaring in past weeks, with a testing blitz in Tamworth and Armidale followed by the launch of specialty testing services in Inverell, Glen Innes and Gunnedah helping to raise testing rates.
NSW Health data shows more than 4500 Tamworth locals have been swabbed since the outbreak began; 2000 in Armidale; 700 in Inverell; 350 in Glen Innes; 300 in Gunnedah; and more than 250 in Uralla and 500 in Moree.
HNEH is continuing to hunt the virus across the health district as restrictions ease, and encourage anyone showing respiratory or cold and flu-like symptoms to arrange a test by attending a local clinic or contacting your GP.
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