No new fragments of COVID-19 have been detected in the latest testing of Molong's sewage system.
On Friday, Western NSW Local Health District (WNLHD) Chief Executive Scott McLachlan said it was "reassuring news" when he confirmed the test conducted Wednesday had been negative.
However, as sewage tests on Monday had detected COVID-19 fragments, Mr McLachlan was still urging for vigilance and for residents, particularly those in Molong, to get tested.
As to how two sewage tests conducted just two days apart could yield such different results could be attributed to a person with COVID-19 just passing through Molong, or alternatively, a previously-infected local who has since recovered.
"What we know about the sewage testing is that COVID fragments that come from a person [and are detected in the sewage] .... are at their highest when they're most infectious," Mr McLachlan said.
"It could take up to a month for it to clear their system, so this could also be someone that's been in Molong over a two [or] three [or] four week period previously but was picked up in the Monday test and not [Wednesday's].
"It could have been a traveller that came through town," he added, "so, this really is time for everyone to be really vigilant, if you've got any signs and symptoms. Please come get tested."
Following the detection of the COVID-19 fragment in Molong, a further 150 people had presented for testing - meaning around half the community has been tested so far.
According to WNLHD, sewage tests are currently being undertaken of the Orange, Cabonne and Blayney local government areas every three days.
In response to heightened concern over vaccine availability in the region following the NSW premier's announcement on Wednesday that Pfizer doses would be redirected from rural and regional NSW to Sydney, Mr McLachlan said 9,000 new doses were on their way to Western NSW.
The Federal Member for Calare Andew Gee and Orange MP Phil Donato have both slammed the NSW government's decision to redirect vaccines.
"Our limited Pfizer supplies are still needed out here where many people await their first dose, just as they need them in Sydney," Mr Donato said in a letter to the editor.
"It's decisions such as these that expose the view of this Government that country people matter less than people of the city."
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Print and digital reporter covering general news in Orange NSW, with specific interest in stories relating to animal welfare, social affairs and issues impacting regional communities. Previously with: Yahoo News Australia, SBS Radio, HuffPost Australia and APN/News Regional Media in south-west Queensland. Our Watch/Walkley Foundation Fellow for 2021. Contact me at: email@example.com
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