Belongil Beach in the Byron Shire.
Belongil Beach in the Byron Shire.

Byron hosts a third of coronavirus cases in Northern NSW

THE Byron Shire is home to one more COVID-19 patient, after a positive test was returned on Easter Monday.

There are now 16 Byron residents who have tested positive to the virus, making up nearly a third of the 54 patients in the Northern NSW Local Health District, stretching from the Clarence Valley out to Tenterfield and north to the border.

This comes after two days of no new cases in the health district.

Local general practitioners and staff at testing clinics in Grafton, Lismore, Byron and Tweed hospitals have carried out 3368 tests.

It can take the health district several days to return a negative result, and so a new SMS system will be implemented to return negative results more quickly.

This morning, state government officials said the opt-in, same-day SMS service will take pressure off the system, and put the needs of the patient first.

Patients who test positive to COVID-19 will still receive a prompt call with the news.