COVID CLEAR: How North Coast continues to beat the odds
AS COVID-19 cases begin to mount in Sydney and surrounding areas, the Clarence and Coffs Harbour regions are still keeping a clean bill of health.
Both areas, including the entire Mid North Coast Health District that contains Coffs Harbour, are free of the virus.
The areas are marked clear on the NSW government's official heatmap, which has changed its methodology to define 'recovered' as numbers grew in the rest of the state.
Before June 24, NSW Health used surveys of patients to determine recovery status. Patients were considered recovered if they were three weeks past the onset, plus reporting resolution of all COVID-19 symptoms.
Now, active cases are considered to be four weeks since the onset of symptoms with a positive test.
According to its website, recovery statistics are not presented as NSW Health has suspended its survey of the recovery status of patients with COVID-19 to focus on the recent increase in community transmission.
The Clarence Valley has had eight confirmed cases of the virus, with all notifications within an eight-day window in March.
The first cased was recorded in the 2460 area around Grafton, with the notification date March 20.
Two more cases were detected in the Grafton area on March 27.
Two cases were found in the Harwood area on March 22 and 24, while one case presented in both Maclean 2463 and Yamba 2464 in the same period.
All of the cases were considered to be overseas acquired, and according to the Northern NSW Local Health District, none of them are considered infectious any more.
Northern NSW Local Health District chief executive Wayne Jones said more than 40,000 tests have now been done across the health district since the pandemic began.
"Thank you to everyone who has come forward for testing, and those who are taking their personal responsibility seriously by keeping a safe distance from others to help minimise any transmission of the virus," he said.
"We're reminding the community that anyone with even the mildest of symptoms, such as a runny nose or scratchy throat, should come forward for testing. You must self-isolate until you receive your test result."
In the Mid North Coast Health District it has been 108 days since a locally transmitted case of the virus was detected.
Two cases were recently attributed to the area, however a spokeswoman said both were in hotel quarantine, and were never infectious while in the region.
There have been 18 total cases in the Coffs Harbour local government area, with COVID-19 first detected in the 2456 Woolgoolga area on March 13.
The first cases in the Coffs Harbour 2450 area were detected on March 25, with the last detected cases before the two in hotel quarantine testing postive on April 21.
North Coast Public Health Unit director Paul Corben continued to encourage residents to keep up the good work and to continue to help to protect the community.
"Please keep practising physical distancing, wash your hands regularly and even if you have the mildest of symptoms, get tested," he said.