IT'S a donut day for Tamworth after the city's only drive-through test clinic went underwater on Tuesday.
Moree recorded five new cases and Armidale added one, as Uralla sewage continues to test positive for the virus with no cases identified.
Uralla Shire Council's water and sewage crews have taken twice-weekly samples to send to labs in Sydney for testing.
Every sample collected in the past two months has come back with a positive detection of COVID-19.
Mayor Michael Pearce said it's clear from the results that there are one or more cases of the virus in the community.
"But with no positive cases having yet been identified within the Uralla sewage catchment, it's difficult for NSW Health to understand the scale and help prevent its transmission," he said.
"People of Uralla Shire have led the way with excellent vaccination rates - currently sitting at over 95% of eligible residents with their first jab and 92.6% with their second jab.
"We can't afford to slack off when it comes to testing - everyone needs to pull their weight."
COVID-19 testing services are available by appointment at the Uralla Medical Centre. Laverty Pathology has also reopened the drive-through testing clinic adjacent to Armidale Airport, which temporarily closed due to extreme weather conditions.
Public health physician Dr David Durrheim said transmission in schools is also a concern.
"Across HNE, since schools have opened up we have seen a number of outbreaks particularly in primary schools," he said.
"We have over 70 of primary schools affected by COVID in the schools and 40 per cent of those we have seen transmission between children.
"It's really important that schools take every measure possible, even though sometimes the weather is challenging, to make sure children have as much of their school activity outdoors - that doors and windows are thrown wide open and that crowding is prevented in schools as much as possible."
Dr Durrheim said it's intriguing that teachers who are double-vaccinated and wearing masks have not been impacted.
"As we have seen outbreaks right across the HNE region in small towns like Wingham and Tingha, larger towns like Tamworth, Newcastle and Maitland, teachers are being protected by being double-vaccinated."
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