Wagga MP Joe McGirr has urged the community to think of the state's roadmap to reopening as a "first step", rather than a "Freedom Day".
While Greater Sydney and other regional centres are celebrating the end of lockdowns, Dr McGirr said it was a "different picture" for the Riverina - with some additional freedoms, but also restrictions for the unvaccinated and some businesses.
Dr McGirr said the region should remain "very cautious" as it takes the "first step" towards December 1, when there is expected to be a broader reopening of the state for all people.
"Our regions do not have the same vaccination rates as the city, so we are more vulnerable," he said.
Dr McGirr also acknowledged how "frustrating" it was for those who are not yet fully vaccinated through no fault of their own, whether it be limited access to the jab, or waiting the recommended time for their second dose.
On Monday, the Murrumbidgee Local Health District reported two new cases of COVID-19 within the Edward River LGA . Both cases are linked to previous cases at the Deniliquin Hospital and have been in isolation.
The MLHD said in a statement the affected ward at the hospital has "undergone a deep clean" and assured that "presenting for care at the Deniliquin Hospital poses no risk to patients."
The MLHD also revealed a new exposure site in Wagga. Anyone who attended Wagga Fruit Supply at Shop 4/6, 21 Forsyth Street between 9.15am and 10am on October 6 is considered a casual contact and must get tested and isolate until they return a negative result.
MLHD chief executive Jill Ludford said the exposure site was not linked to the recent Kildare Catholic College case, but was from someone passing through the region - likely an essential worker.
Ms Ludford echoed calls for caution as the state reopens, because "we still have case numbers out and about in our community".
IN OTHER NEWS:
As of Monday, there have been 46 cases in the MLHD since the outbreak began, including eight in the Edward River LGA, two in Wagga, one in Federation, one in Griffith, 25 in Hilltops and nine in Albury.
Genome testing results for the initial case in the Hilltops outbreak came back this week, showing the outbreak was "clearly" linked with a variant from the Sydney area.
Meanwhile, resident have been commended for coming forward to get tested, with more than 1000 tests conducted in Wagga on Friday - five times the normal amount.
People across the district also took advantage of vaccination pop-up clinics at the weekend.
However, Ms Ludford said "we are still significantly behind where metropolitan and Greater Sydney is at" with a fully-vaccinated rate of 63 per cent.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: