If you're waiting to hear from contact tracers about a COVID exposure, you could be waiting a while.
A number of Illawarra Shoalhaven residents say they haven't heard from contact tracers, despite being at exposure locations at the time listed on the NSW Health website.
In some cases a week had elapsed without any contact.
When asked about the delay, a NSW Health spokesperson said contact tracers were "challenged" by the growing outbreak.
The Australian Defence Force has been pulled in to provide support for the more than 1000 staff working to trace confirmed cases and their contacts. There are currently more than 25000 active COVID cases in NSW.
For the most up-to-date information, individuals must check the NSW Health website.
"The capacity of public health teams is closely monitored and continues to be expanded to meet the increasingly high demand," the spokesperson said.
"COVID-19 case numbers, including the number of cases in specific Local Government Areas, are advised daily at the 11am press conference.
"The Local Health District also publishes daily updates on its website about local cases.
"When a confirmed COVID-19 case attends a venue while possibly infectious, NSW Health carries out a risk assessment on that venue to determine whether other people may have been exposed, and whether there is a public health risk.
"NSW Health takes proactive steps to contact all close contacts of the case, to give advice on testing, isolation, symptoms to be aware of, and their level of risk.
"COVID-19 case locations continue to be published on the NSW Government's website and the Local Health District's Facebook page."
On Monday Member for Kiama Gareth Ward said a number of residents had been left in the dark about potential contact with a COVID case.
He slammed the notification process and said people could not do the right thing without access to timely information.
"I assumed that when a person has tested positive for COVID that their QR check-in data would be cross-referenced with all persons checked-in at the same venue at the same time," he said.
"People have a right to know if they were in possible contact with a COVID case.
"The fact that this process is taking over a week is totally unacceptable and could allow for the virus to spread whilst casual contacts remain unaware of information that NSW Health has in its possession."
Close contacts of confirmed cases must get tested and complete 14 days' self-isolation, even if their initial test result is negative.
Casual contacts must get tested and isolate until they receive a negative result.
Anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms such as fever, sore throat, cough or shortness of breath, is urged to immediately get tested.
Even people with mild symptoms, such as fatigue, new muscle aches or pains, a change in taste or smell or a new runny nose, should also get tested.
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