Elective surgery put on hold at the height of the coronavirus pandemic is being restarted at Wagga Base Hospital.
Lenert Bruce, the executive director of medical services for the Murrumbidgee Local Health District, said the hospital had been given permission to resume up to 75 per cent of its previous elective surgery workload by the end of June.
"We have started doing cataract surgery, joint replacement surgery and for families with children waiting to have their tonsils out, first lists were done yesterday," Dr Bruce said.
"We've recommenced most of the lists, so we just have to work through the patients whose surgery has been delayed for very good reason."
Dr Bruce said it had now been almost six weeks since a new coronavirus case had been recorded in the Murrumbidgee.
The region has recorded a total of 45 cases, with just one remaining officially active.
So far, 9314 tests have been carried out, with Dr Bruce warning there would likely be more cases in the region in the future.
Dr Bruce repeated his previous pleas for people who have any flu-like symptoms to be tested for COVID-19.
"If you are in any way unwell, even with the mildest symptoms, get tested. Then we can identify you and look after you, to make sure you don't deteriorate," he said.
"You don't necessarily have to go into hospital, we've got our virtual ward and we can look after you at home, but testing is absolutely essential."
Dr Bruce said more testing was now being done at Wagga Base, so the turnaround time for a test conducted in Murrumbidgee was about 30 hours.
"We know it is an inconvenience for people to take time off work, but now it would only be really one day and it's not a bad idea to stay away from work when you are unwell. Even if you don't have COVID disease, you don't want want to go and infect your colleagues with one of the other viruses that are more prevalent during wintertime," he said.
Ahead of the June 1 lifting of some social isolation regulations, Dr Bruce said it was likely there would be future outbreaks, but that the region's health system was well prepared.
"The most important things is if you are unwell, please don't go out," he said.
With pubs, clubs, cafes and restaurants reopening and travel restrictions to be lifted from Monday, June 1, health officials are calling on businesses to be prepared.
Many local business will now be preparing for staff to return to work, the MLHD's director of public health Tracey Oakman said.
While there are rules around what businesses can and cant do, all businesses should have a COVID-19 safety plan. Its critical that businesses ensure they have a safe, healthy and hygienic work environment."
The Murrumbidgee COVID-19 hotline number is 1800 831 099, and people are asked to get tested at the earliest onset of their symptoms.
Especially now with more people out and about, the risk of community transmission is higher, and its really important to continue to come forward to be tested, said Mrs Oakman.