BATHURST looks to have dodged a COVID bullet with not a single active case of coronavirus found during a two-week testing blitz after the Bathurst 1000.
More than 1300 residents came forward for testing after NSW Health issued a health alert for the region just days after the Great Race.
The health alert came after remnants of coronavirus were found in the city's raw sewage on Wednesday, October 21 but a testing blitz since then has failed to find any active cases of the virus.
Western NSW Local Heath District authorities confirmed the testing figures on Friday, ahead of the final day of a pop-up clinic that remained in place for more than two weeks in the Cooke Hockey Complex car park.
At the same time, mayor Bobby Bourke confirmed council's ongoing testing of Bathurst's raw sewage had found no further traces of coronavirus following the initial positive result.
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"I think it was a storm in a teacup when they found traces of the virus just after the race," Cr Bourke said.
"There was nothing found before that and there's been nothing found since. We keep doing our testing and they keep coming back with no more traces of the virus."
This year's Bathurst 1000 was run under strict COVID-safe conditions that banned all camping on Mount Panorama and restricted the number of trackside spectators to just 4000 on each of the four days of the Great Race carnival.
The Bathurst local government area has recorded just nine cases of coronavirus since the pandemic began in March, including cases linked to the Ruby Princess cruise ship cluster.
There have been no known active cases of the virus in the Bathurst region since late April.
And Western NSW Local Health District public health director Priscilla Stanley said even the discovery of traces of COVID-19 in Bathurst's raw sewage did not necessarily mean there had been an active case of the virus in the city.
"An infected person can shed virus in their faeces even if they do not have any symptoms, and shedding can continue for several weeks after they are no longer infectious," Ms Stanley said.
"There are currently no people in our district who have been identified as having COVID-19 however, this is a timely reminder for people with any symptoms, even mild symptoms, to isolate and arrange to be tested, and to ensure they practise physical distancing and hand hygiene measures."
COVID-19 testing is still available at the Bathurst Health Service on Howick Street and the Bathurst Respiratory Clinic (12.30pm-4.30pm weekdays) at Ochre Health within the grounds of Charles Sturt University.
Health authorities say COVID-19 is still likely circulating in the community are urging the community to remain vigilant. To help stop the spread of COVID-19:
- If you are unwell, get tested and isolate right away - don't delay.
- Wash your hands regularly. Take hand sanitiser with you when you go out.
- Keep your distance. Leave 1.5 metres between yourself and others.
- Wear a mask when using public transport, rideshares and taxis, and in shops, places of worship and other places where you can't physically distance.
- When taking taxis or rideshares, commuters should also sit in the back.
There are more than 300 COVID-19 testing locations across NSW. Find your nearest clinic here, or contact your GP.
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