As Australia imposes new travel restrictions many NSW residents have been left wondering if there will be a second wave of COVID-19 and what it means for the nation.
North Coast Public Health Unit director Paul Corben spoke to the Port Macquarie News about what a 'second wave' is, what form it might take and how the public can protect themselves.
As of July 7, NSW has 3251 confirmed cases of coronavirus from 979,060 tests according to the NSW Department of Health.
"A 'second wave' is described as a rise in new cases following a period of low case numbers following subsidence of the 'first wave' of infections in a community," said Mr Corben.
An increase in cases could follow a period in which a country relaxes COVID-19 restrictions and triggers a sustained increase in transmission of the disease in the community, to become a second wave.
"It has been 71 days since there has been a confirmed COVID-19 case on the Mid North Coast," Mr Corben said on July 7.
"Two Mid North Coast residents tested positive in late June, however they pose no risk to this region as they remain in hotel quarantine in Sydney.
"We are constantly monitoring the situation across the region and are well prepared for any increase in cases."
Observe physical distancing, practise good hand hygiene, get tested even if symptoms are mild and stay at home if unwell.North Coast Public Health Unit director Paul Corben
The district has expanded testing across public hospital, community health services and local respiratory clinics at GP practices. It has also increased ICU capacity by more than double and promoted the uptake of the COVIDSafe app.
The district is ensuring health system surge capacity and securing access to essential supplies, including personal protective equipment and test kits.
Mr Corben said it is critical that people continue to come forward for testing even for the mildest of symptoms.
"NSW has one of the highest testing rates in the world and a dedicated team of up to 150 people to conduct sophisticated contact tracing for any positive cases," he said.
"Everyone in the community is reminded to observe physical distancing, practice good hand hygiene, get tested even if symptoms are mild and stay at home if unwell."
The NSW Government has committed $800 million in extra funding over two years on top of the 2019-20 Health Budget of $26.7 billion to help boost ICU capacity and purchase additional services and medical equipment, to help respond to COVID-19.
NSW Health is advising members of the public to get tested at a COVID-19 clinic if they have symptoms. Symptoms include fever, cough, sore/scratchy throat, shortness of breath, loss of taste or smell.
Those being tested are advised to self-isolate until results are received.
For more information or advice you can call the National Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080. If you require translating or interpreting services, call 131 450.