Adam Marshall has outed himself as the COVID-19 case NSW Health was referring to on Thursday morning when it revealed traces of the virus had been found in Armidale sewerage.
The Northern Tablelands MP urged the Armidale community to remain calm but be on alert and get tested for COVID-19, after small traces of the virus were detected at the city's sewage treatment plant.
NSW Health issued a statement that it was aware of a recently recovered COVID-19 case in the area who acquired the infection in Sydney and remained there in isolation for the required 19-day period.
When Mr Marshall released a media release urging people to stay calm but vigilant, the statement said Mr Marshall was the case NSW Health were referring to.
The MP contracted the more infectious Delta variant of COVID-19 at a Nationals dinner in Sydney in June.
At the start of July he was ordered to remain in isolation for a further five days on advice from NSW Health.
Two weeks ago, Mr Marshall received his first COVID-19 vaccination in Uralla.
People who have recently recovered from COVID-19 may continue to shed virus fragments into the sewer system for several weeks. However, NSW Health still advises people to continue to be vigilant for symptoms.
Mr Marshall said that as a precaution the hours of testing at Armidale Hospital and the Armidale Airport Laverty drive-through clinic had now been extended.
"If anyone in Armidale is exhibiting even the slightest COVID-19 symptoms, fever, coughing, sore throat, and shortness of breath, they should immediately get tested and self-isolate until they receive a negative result," Mr Marshall said.
"Today (Thursday, July 29) the Armidale Hospital testing clinic will be extended by two hours to run between 12noon and 4pm. Tomorrow (Friday, July 30), the testing clinics will be extended further still, to run between 9am and 3pm.
The hospital will also offer testing this Saturday and Sunday, between 9am and 3pm.
The extended testing hours (9am to 3pm) will remain in place until at least Friday, August 6.
The Laverty Pathology drive-through clinic at Airside Business Park on Cameron Drive will also offer additional testing, Monday to Friday (8am to 5pm) and on Saturday and Sunday (8am to 2.30pm). Appointments for this service are not required.
"We have all done such an outstanding job in keeping COVID-19 out of rural and regional NSW and we need to keep it up," Mr Marshall said.
"While the detection of these COVID fragments is almost certainly related directly to me (a recovered case) rather than any current or infectious persons, it's important everyone remains vigilant and we pay close attention to the health advice in coming days."
Armidale's sewerage is tested weekly. This is an important tool that supports the detection, tracking and changing rate of virus infection.
It's the first time COVID-19 particles have been detected in sewage surveillance programs across the Armidale and Tamworth regions, which have now been occurring weekly for almost a year.
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