THE Mid North Coast Local Health District (MNCLHD) said further testing is being conducted following the detection of virus fragments in sewage samples taken from the Coffs Harbour and Bonny Hills sewage treatment plants.
A drive-through testing clinic will also be established in Lake Cathie to increase the testing volume.
The two positive samples were taken on Monday, August 2, with further samples taken on Wednesday morning.
"We resampled this morning in response to the positive detection and now we are asking the community to respond to that and come forward and get tested," North Coast Public Health Unit director Paul Corben said.
"We will have the resampled results by the end of the week."
The Mid North Coast has been COVID-free for 465 days.
"We haven't had any locally diagnosed cases of COVID-19 since April last year which has put the Mid North coast in a very unusual situation," Mr Corben said.
A new drive-through COVID-19 testing clinic will open on Thursday at the Lake Cathie Sporting Complex on Dirah Street and will be operational from 10am to 4pm.
There are currently no COVID positive cases on the Mid North Coast and there have been no sewage detections in samples taken at the district's three other testing sites - Port Macquarie, Dunbogan and South West Rocks.
MNCLHDchief executive Stewart Dowrick said they are currently investigating the source of the virus fragments.
"We will work through those samples and determine, if we can, the sources of those samples but that will take some time," he said.
"It can be someone who was infected, someone who is shedding the virus or it can also come from people washing their hands and having a shower.
"But the facts are that we do have two positive cases in the sewerage detection systems on the Mid North Coast."
MNCLHD is urging residents with the mildest of symptoms to get tested.
"The detection of virus fragments is a concern. We are dealing with a worldwide pandemic and we are seeing what's occurring in the metropolitan Sydney areas and we don't and that to happen here," Mr Dowrick said.
"We do ask people who feel unwell or show any symptoms to please get tested."
Mr Corben said people who do get tested are urged to isolate until they receive a negative result.
"If you're feeling unwell please don't go out into the community, don't go to school, don't go to work. Get tested and wait for your negative result," he said.
"Please continue to wear a mask when you are out in public and QR code check-in."
Last month, a COVID-positive person from Sydney visited several sites in Coffs Harbour forcing the shutdown of the Hoey Moey pub and a construction site with all close contacts sent into isolation for 14 days.
A mass testing clinic was quickly established at the Coffs Harbour International Sports Stadium and sewage surveillance was ramped up.
Two men who later travelled home to Sydney with the infected person subsequently caught the virus.
The Mid North Coast Local Health District has experienced increased COVID-19 testing since the Bondi cluster began in mid-June.
The Port Macquarie COVID-19 testing clinic moved from Lake Road to a drive-through clinic at Port Macquarie Regional Stadium as testing numbers increased due to the Sydney outbreak.
A full list of clinic locations and opening hours are listed on the NSW government website at COVID-19 testing clinics.
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