Officials have warned that Wagga could be put into lockdown if there is a spike in COVID cases among the almost 200 people who came in contact with an infected person at Kildare Catholic College this week.
Wagga recorded its first COVID case in more than a year on Thursday - included in Friday's numbers - when a member of the Kildare Catholic College community tested positive.
The case attended school for one day of their infectious period, and NSW Health has since identified 90 close contacts and approximately 100 casual contacts.
Member for Wagga Joe McGirr said it will depend on the results of follow-up testing as to whether a lockdown is considered for Wagga.
He said if no additional cases stem from this exposure, "we could confidently say things will continue [as they are]."
"But the reality is that as tests are conducted and further contacts are identified and tested that we could have additional cases, and in that situation we would have to consider a lockdown, of course," Dr McGirr added.
The new case is a resident of the Wagga LGA, however it is believed the person contracted the virus when outside the region.
Murrumbidgee Local Health District executive director of medical services, Dr Len Bruce, said any lockdown decision would be based on advice from the public health unit.
He acknowledged that the response to COVID outbreaks, and the pandemic in general, is changing in New South Wales as the vaccination rollout continues and the roadmap to reopening commences on Monday.
"Because we believe this is not a case due to community transmission in the area, the risk would be lower than ... if it was multiple cases linked to a source in Wagga," Dr Bruce said.
He said the public health unit is still investigating the source of infection, and that there is no information on whether or not the case was vaccinated.
Dr McGirr said he understands this situation will spark concern in the Kildare community, and the wider community of Wagga.
"We have been lucky in this region so far, we've been essentially free of cases which has been great," he said.
"What we need to do now is recognise that this is something that was going to happen, it has now happened, the health district is responding [and] we need to respond."
On Friday the Best Street Cafe in Wagga was listed as an exposure site. Anyone who attended the venue between 8.45 and 10am on Thursday, September 30 is considered a casual contact and must get a COVID test and isolate until they return a negative result.
NSW Health advised that no bus services were impacted following the exposure at Kildare.
"Kildare College has been commended for adhering to strict COVID Safety protocols and minimising the risk of exposure for its community," an MLHD spokesperson said.
The MLHD's COVID-19 coordinator Emma Field said the current cases are "particularly concerning", and the regions best defence against an outbreak is vaccination.
"We have made our vaccination clinics at Wagga and at Griffith walk in; there is no need for registration today and over the weekend," she said.
IN OTHER NEWS:
The MLHD is approaching the milestone of 50,000 jabs since the rollout began, with the Riverina's vaccination rate currently sitting at 73.2 per cent single doses, and 50.3 per cent double-dosed.
Ms Field said that vaccination rates are also increasing in the Edward River LGA, where there have been six cases and one death.
Testing rates have also increased in Edward River, with the LGA seeing up to 190 tests per day.
There have been 43 confirmed cases of COVID in the MLHD during the current outbreak.
17 people are being cared for by MLHD staff at home, whilst three are at Wagga Base Hospital, but not in intensive care.
Of the 43 cases, 25 have been in the Hilltops LGA, nine in Albury, six in Edward River, one in Griffith, one in Federation and one in Wagga.
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