Health authorities and are urging the communities of Orange, Blayney and Cabonne to be vigilant to ensure they remain safe following the lifting of the region's seven day lockdown at midnight.
Western NSW Local Health District Chief Executive Scott McLachlan said no new cases of COVID-19 were detected in the three locked down Local Government Areas since the restrictions were established on July 21.
"Our communities rallied during that period and, up to Monday night, more than 11,500 tests had been completed in the Orange, Blayney and Cabonne LGAs," Mr McLachlan said.
"Including Bathurst, Dubbo, Parkes and Forbes, almost 15,000 COVID-19 tests had been completed."
However, Mr McLachlan, Member for Orange Phil Donato and Orange mayor Reg Kidd said now is not the time to become complacent.
"It does mean going back to the requirements for the whole of rural and regional NSW," he said.
"That means all the things that have kept us safe up to now with this latest risk: good hand washing, wearing masks in all public places or indoor areas, making sure that you check into places with QR codes, making sure you've got good social distancing and only going out wherever you absolutely need to."
He said people also need to limit visitors to their home and follow the one person per four square metres rule.
"We've probably been pretty fortunate that this latest issue didn't result in a broader community spread across Western NSW," Mr McLachlan said.
He added, given the growing concern in Sydney - Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced another 172 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, 60 of those were infectious in the community - and western Sydney's close proximity to our region it was "only a matter of time" before the region endured another scare.
"At all times, and certainly when there's been a case recorded locally, widespread testing gives us the best chance possible to see if there has been any spread of COVID-19 in the community," he said.
However, he said there will be a change to some testing clinics from Wednesday onward due to lower testing rates.
- READ ALSO: A timeline of our seven-day lockdown
In Orange the drive-through testing will continue at Orange Showground and Wade Park between 8am and 4pm and it will also continue at Mount Panorama in Bathurst. In Molong, Blayney and Parkes, testing will be conducted by appointment at each town's hospital or multi-purpose service.
"In the last 24 hours we saw over 750 people come forward to get tested across the Orange, Bathurst, Blayney and Molong locations so thank you to everyone that's come forward and got tested," he said.
"It has left us with some big questions about whether we do have COVID still circulating, or at risk of being in our region."
Mr McLachlan said there is still one active coronavirus case being managed in the community and at home.
"We know that vaccination is our way out of this," he said.
"Vaccination has never been more important and I cannot stress enough that both the AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines are effective, and very safe."
He said vaccination appointments for AstraZeneca are available in Orange and Bathurst on Wednesday.
Mr Donato congratulated the community on it's response.
"I realise many local businesses and workers have suffered a financial impact, though that impact may have been more substantial if COVID were to spread, such as we've seen in Sydney," he said.
"The past week has been disruptive to our lives, but the most minor-level lock-down was at the time a reasonable step to take so as to avoid the potential for an outbreak which our local health services may have struggled to cope with.
Orange mayor Reg Kidd welcomed the relaxing of the lockdown.
"This is a result of the community knuckling down, following the health orders and the lock down and staying safe. Without that we would not be here today," Cr Kidd said.
"I am also thankful that relaxing the lockdown will bring some relief to business who have had to shut up shop. While this is predominately a public health issue those business owners have families and employees, and how they are managing through this must be incredibly difficult."
However, he said there are still challenges ahead.
Stay-at-home restrictions remain in place for the Greater Sydney region and anyone who visits the included areas, or has visited the included areas in the last 14 days, must follow those orders.
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