Caravans in NSW west as virus hits regions

Motorhomes are providing isolation facilities for COVID patients at Wilcannia, in the NSW far west.
Motorhomes are providing isolation facilities for COVID patients at Wilcannia, in the NSW far west.

NSW Health's Dr Jeremy McAnulty has called on people in the state's regions to get tested even for mild COVID-19 symptoms, while patients in the far-western town of Wilcannia receive caravans to help isolate from family and friends.

"Please come forward if you have symptoms at all," Dr McAnulty said on Sunday.

There were 1485 new locally-acquired cases of COVID-19 and three deaths reported on Sunday as authorities battle to contain the spread of the virulent Delta strain through the locked-down state.

Of these cases, 21 were in Western NSW, four in the Far West, 12 in the Hunter-New England region, 11 in the Illawarra Shoalhaven area and seven on the Central Coast.

NSW Health's ongoing sewage surveillance program recently detected fragments of the virus that causes COVID-19 at sewage treatment plants across the state.

Fragments were found in Byron Bay overnight and recently at Tamworth and Glen Innes in Hunter New England, Cooma in Southern NSW and West Kempsey on the Mid North Coast.

Meanwhile, an isolation hub, including 30 caravans, will be established in one of NSW's hardest hit regional towns.

Temporary accommodation will be available for isolating patients at Wilcannia's Victory Park Caravan Park, in the state's far west.

More than 13 per cent of its predominantly Indigenous population have caught the virus.

The caravans should be ready early this week, NSW Health said on Sunday.

"The site includes 30 motorhomes that will provide temporary accommodation options for people, helping to protect their loved ones and reduce the risk of transmission of the virus," a statement read.

"This option provides a respectful and appropriate environment to safely isolate for the Wilcannia community and will remain in place until no longer required."

Elsewhere in Wilcannia, an emergency management centre has been established at the town's showground, housing personnel and staging response activities.

"It will include personnel from NSW Health, NSW Police, Australian Defence Force, Aboriginal Affairs, Rural Fire Service, SES, NSW Ambulance ... and a number of volunteer organisations."

More than 600 food hampers have been delivered to Wilcannia residents and the distribution program continues.

COVID patients isolating in the free, self-contained caravan accommodation will be provided with all meals and have 24-hour assistance on hand.

Australian Associated Press