A Bathurst respiratory physician has encouraged the local community to stay at home unless necessary to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Doctor Bridget Elbourne said she's seen how the Bathurst Base Hospital has been affected already by coronavirus and is concerned that it will not be able to cope if cases continue to grow in the region.
"I would like to make a couple of points about the current pandemic. Number one is that it's here, in our town. Not just in Sydney or on cruise ships but right here," she said.
"Number two is that your hospital is filled with dedicated hardworking people who are going to do everything possible over the coming weeks to treat both the normal winter presentations and the COVID-19 cases. The problem is we are a small hospital.
"We desperately need your help to slow transmission so that we can give the best possible help to everyone who needs it.
"Stay home. Unless absolutely necessary, please stay home."
And while Dr Elbourne knows that the new restrictions are hard, she said they are needed to help prevent the spread of the disease.
"I know it's hard. I feel incredibly fortunate to be able to still go to work and see my colleagues. I know a lot of people have lost that," she said.
"But their sacrifice, all the lost jobs and lost education and missed weddings and lost chances to say good bye to loved ones: it all means nothing if we don't stay home now.
"The social and economic cost will still be there. The precious benefit of the delay in transmission and preservation of our vulnerable will not.
"Please, please stay home."
As of 6.30am on March 27, there has been 2985 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Australia.
It was reported on Friday morning that a doctor working at the Bathurst Base Hospital had a positive test to the virus, bringing the total up to seven cases in the Bathurst local government area.