New cases of COVID-19 have been detected in the Murrumbidgee Local Health District [MLHD] as the state's daily count continues to drop.
A total of 444 new cases of the virus were found across NSW in the 24 hours to 8pm on Tuesday, NSW Health announced on Wednesday.
Two of them were found in the MLHD's geographic region, and sewage surveillance has also detected fragments of the virus in the area, NSW Health's Marianne Gale said.
"Our ongoing sewage surveillance program has detected fragments in ... the areas of West Wyalong and Uralla, Brewarrina and Wauchope," Dr Gale said.
The MLHD confirmed the two cases are residents of the Edward River local government area, with one a household contact of a previously confirmed case and has been in isolation.
The other is linked to the cluster and remains under investigation.
In other news
A new exposure site has been listed in the wake of the detections, with anyone who visited the Deniliquin Coles at specific times now considered a casual contact.
Those who were at the Harding and Wood Street supermarket between 11.45am and 12.45pm on October 5, or between 2.45pm and 3.45pm on October 11, is required to get a COVID test and isolate until they receive a negative result.
Positive results in Wagga's recent sewage samples are associated with COVID patients being cared for in Wagga Base Hospital, the MLHD said, and West Wyalong residents are encouraged to come forward for testing after sewage detections in the town's treatment plant.
Anyone with the slightest symptoms is urged to come forward for testing.
Testing is available at the West Wyalong Hospital between 8am and 10am Monday to Friday, and people should contact the MLHD's COVID Hotline on 1800 831 099.
Hours for the MLHD's drive-through testing site at Equex in Wagga have changed to 1pm to 6pm daily, while the clinic at 85-86 Murray Street remain at 9am to 6pm.
Four more people in NSW have died with COVID-19, with three people in their 70s and one in their 60s succumbing to the virus.
Two were not vaccinated and two had received both doses of a vaccine, with both of the latter having underlying health conditions.
One of the unvaccinated, a man aged in his 70s, died at home in western Sydney and tested positive to COVID after his death.
An interstate Qantas flight has been listed as associated with a confirmed case of COVID-19, and anyone on board is now considered a close contact.
Passengers on QA509 that departed Brisbane at 7.10am and arrived in Sydney at 9.45am on Saturday, October 9 must get tested and isolate, regardless of the result, NSW Health advised.
The interstate, trans-Tasman situation
Changes have also been implemented for fully-vaccinated close contacts of a COVID-19 case.
Anyone who has been fully-vaccinated for at least two weeks prior to their exposure to the virus are now required to isolate for seven days.
"Vaccinated close contacts are now required to isolate for seven days, if a test on the sixth day after exposure is negative," NSW Health said on Wednesday,.
"For the next seven days, vaccinated close contacts must still work from home where practicable, not attend hospitality settings such as pubs, cafes and restaurants, or not attend high-risk settings such as hospitals, aged care facilities, childcare centres and schools.
"Fully vaccinated close contacts who were identified as a close contact before Monday 11 October may end their isolation either at the end of the previously advised period or at 11.59pm on Monday 18 October, whichever comes first. This is provided that they have had a negative result from a test on day six or later and have no COVID-19 symptoms.
"Close contacts who are unvaccinated, partially vaccinated, or received their second vaccination within 14 days of their exposure must continue to isolate for the full 14-day period, regardless of their test result. All close contacts must get tested again on day 12."
The premier has indicated there could be changes sooner rather than later as the state projects it could reach an 80 per cent double vaccination rate earlier than anticipated.
NSW could reach the 80 per cent fully vaccinated milestone by Sunday, just days into the reopening triggered on Monday after 70 per cent of eligible residents got both jabs.
That further reopening would be one step closer to the goal Illabo publican Tony Espinosa is holding out for.
More on the pandemic
The village hotel will be closed until a full reopening of the state, with Mr Espinosa standing his ground on not wanting to turn away customers who aren't fully vaccinated.
"I'm not anti-vaccination but I believe in having the freedom of choice and I have to stay true to my beliefs," he said.
Mr Espinosa said it made no sense he could have unvaccinated people at his post office and general store within the same building as the Illabo Hotel, and they could even stay in his motel rooms, but not enter the bar.
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: