BATHURST Regional Council is waiting on the results of COVID-19 testing to see if any other staff members have contracted COVID-19.
On Sunday, council announced that a staff member had tested positive for the virus. As a result, the waste management centre was closed for a deep clean, along with the civic centre in Russell Street, which were linked to the positive case.
Council's general manager, David Sherley, told the Western Advocate on Monday that the situation was affecting 50 to 70 staff members, who are now awaiting the results of COVID tests.
"We contacted as many of the staff as we could from lunch time onwards on Sunday and asked them to all go and get tested for COVID," he said. "A lot of those staff did go and get tested at either the Laverty testing clinic at the Mount or at the hospital, and results are starting to come through at the moment."
He said some staff will be treated as close contacts of the staff member who tested positive, which means they must self-isolate for 14 days, while others are considered casual contacts and only need to isolate until they receive a negative test result.
The civic centre is expected to remain closed to all staff until Monday, with a deep clean scheduled to take place over two days.
The waste management centre is set to reopen for commercial operators on Wednesday, but will remain closed to the public until the results of all the tests are known.
"As soon as we can ensure it is safe, it will open," Mr Sherley said.
Council will maintain services for the community over the coming days, including household waste collection, which will be facilitated by JR Richards from Orange.
What has made the situation easier is that many staff have been working in different locations, so there were less people than usual in the civic centre when the exposure occurred.
"It certainly has helped that we had put those operations already in place," Mr Sherley said.
Council does not have a record of how many of its staff have been vaccinated to date, but they are being encouraged to get the vaccine.
"We are encouraging staff to get vaccinated and we are regularly doing that, and hopefully we get high numbers," Mr Sherley said, adding that council is running an awareness campaign.
Following the news of the council staff member's positive test, it was announced on Monday that Bathurst had recorded five new cases in the previous 24 hours.
Two of those cases had been infectious in the community.
It was the first time since the outbreak in western NSW that Bathurst had the highest number of new cases in the region.
The other cases came from Dubbo (four), Bourke (two) and Walgett (one), making for a total of 12 cases in the 24 hours to 8pm Sunday.
In some good news, local member Paul Toole said the majority of Bathurst's 44 cases had recovered.
"Good news is out of the 44 cases in the last six weeks, we still have 13 that are active and 31 have recovered, so that's good news for them and their families," he said.
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