A person has tested positive to COVID-19 in the northern NSW town of Walgett, which has a population of just 2,145 people – 43% of whom are Indigenous, according to 2016 Census data.

The person is believed to have been infectious since Thursday, 5 August according to ABC journalist Gavin Coote, and is thought to have visited Bathurst and Dubbo while infectious.

The person was reportedly tested on Saturday, August 7, returning a positive result on Wednesday.

Contact tracing is already underway and anyone with COVID-19 symptoms is being urged to come forward for testing.

Local MP Roy Butler described the new positive COVID case in the small, largely Indigenous Walgett community as “the news I have feared the most.”

“These communities have many people with underlying health issues and often under resourced health services,” he said in a post on Facebook.

“The facts are a man travelled home to Walgett on the afternoon of the 9th August unaware he was infected, he was informed of a positive test today. The contact tracers have interviewed him and that information will be made public shortly. I hope a second test will show negative, but we must act for now as if this is confirmed.

“It is crucial to minimise community transmission now, by staying at home as much as is possible, wearing masks and please get tested for the virus if you have any symptoms. I will publish the actual health orders when they are made.”

Testing capacity in Walgett has been increased, with local testing at Alex Trevallion Park being made available from 9am tomorrow.

Western NSW Local Health District has advised that additional testing capacity is already available in Dubbo at the Showground, at the COVIDSAFE clinic in Manera Plaza, and at the Mount Panorama testing clinic in Bathurst.

More to come.