THE same community spirit, the Australian way of supporting a mate like we saw through the drought and bushfires, must rise to the top once again.
The ripple effects of the COVID-19 impacts on the Hastings community has are widespread and will be felt for months.
Member for Port Macquarie Leslie Williams has reinforced the call to shop local and support small business and local producers through yet another challenge.
"At a time when COVID-19 is top of mind for us all, it is important that we as a community and as a country stop and think about the actions we take in our own personal space as well in the company of others," Mrs Williams said.
Mrs Williams said generosity, not greed, will define our community.
This is a time when we need to support each other which includes buying from local retailers and continuing to support small business including cafes and restaurants.Leslie Williams, Port Macquarie MP
"Let's all return to the Australia we were proud to be a part of through the ongoing drought and the recent bushfire emergency.
"Whilst taking all recommended precautions to protect ourselves from the COVD-19, it is imperative that people stay calm and immediately stop the panic buying and stockpiling of goods that seems to have gripped our nation," Mrs Williams said.
"This is a time when we need to support each other which includes buying from local retailers and continuing to support small business including cafes and restaurants.
"Supermarkets and local shops have plenty of supplies of food and personal items which continue to arrive daily, but they need the time to keep shelves stocked so as Prime Minister Morrison implored, "just stop it." We all need to keep calm - be assured there is enough to go around as long as people only purchase what they need in the short term."
Mrs Williams has praised the work of the Mid North Coast Local Health District in working in collaboration with private hospitals, the North Coast Primary Health Network, Aboriginal Medical Services and local councils to respond to the COVID-19 situation.
"The District has opened COVID-19 assessment clinics across the Mid North Coast, including one at Port Macquarie Base Hospital.
"These clinics are for people who are most at risk with respiratory symptoms or fever, those returning from overseas or in contact with a COVID-19 case, and our local health workers. People without symptoms do not need to be tested.
"It is vital that the respiratory clinics are not overwhelmed with people who are not in the high risk groups, which could result in delays identifying those most vulnerable."
The Port Macquarie clinic is open from 10am to 4pm weekdays. Patients are asked to present to the emergency department where they will be assessed and directed to the clinic as required.