Despite the city having seen 14 straight days without a new COVID-19 case, a senior clinician at Wagga Base Hospital has warned the region may be entering its most challenging time.
Serving as one of the hospital's four respiratory physicians, Associate Professor Adriaan Venter is responsible for preparing the hospital for a potential outbreak of COVID-19.
"Our lockdown and our social distancing has worked in the sense that it has managed to get the epidemic under control," he said.
"The problem with getting the epidemic under control is that it breeds complacency and that lets people think that we are in a really good place when in actual fact we are probably in a little bit of a dangerous place."
Although the global magnitude of this event is unparalleled in his career, Professor Venter has seen similar conditions in his native South Africa during 2003.
"When SARS-1 came out, I looked after one case and we were really, really scared because that one was as infectious as this one and had the potential to do the exact same thing," he said.
"Then for some reason, it died out after six to eight months and it hasn't come back since. We dodged a bullet with that.
"This is the only time I've been involved with a disease where everything changes week by week."
Professor Venter brought the experience of that event to Wagga with him when he immigrated in 2009. Five weeks ago, he began implementing procedures at the hospital to deal with "an explosion of cases" in the region.
Via the roll-out of the 'virtual ward' system, he says up to 300 patients can be cared for effectively while remaining in their homes. Currently, across the Murrumbidgee health area, there are only 13 quarantined patients in virtual care.
To date, there have been 33 recoveries around the Riverina out of the 45 confirmed cases. But Professor Venter warns that focusing on the numbers alone may not accurately indicate the true rate of COVID-19 spread.
"There are two reasons, number one, I think really we are on top of it, and number two the amount of people being tested has died down," he said.
"There was a lot of hype at the beginning with a lot of people rushing in to be tested.
"Now the hard part is to identify the cases that are spreading in the community, and probably those people are not that sick because if they were, we'd see them in the hospital."
Professor Venter is now appealing for anyone with symptoms to come forward for immediate testing. He is concerned that those with the virus may be attempting to self-care at home without seeking medical advice.
"We need to test them now because we are not yet into a flu season, in June or July it will be much more difficult because people will also have influenza," he said.
"If someone was well last week, and then this week they have a sniffle and a sore throat and are unwell, then why did they get that?
"At the moment, everybody is locked away, we're not supposed to be getting a sniffle because the transmission [of the flu or cold] is very, very low. This thing is highly infectious, it spreads very easily. It stays on surfaces for days."