NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro has confirmed that the two COVID cases recorded in Merimbula were false positives.
In response to questions from ACM at the regional media briefing on Wednesday, September 15, Mr Barilaro said he had just been notified of the situation.
"It looks like the false positives have come back again as false, that's three tests as far as I am concerned and the health website will be updated," Mr Barilaro said.
"That does change the dynamics for the Bega local government area because that would mean there are no cases in the Bega Valley Shire and we'll have to give consideration to what happens next," he said.
Asked about what this means for Bega Valley's lockdown situation, Mr Barilaro said the issues would be reviewed later that afternoon at the NSW crisis committee meeting. Any decisions would be announced on Thursday, September 16 with respect to where and how lockdowns applied.
Bega Valley Shire Mayor Russell Fitzpatrick welcomed the news saying it was fantastic if the shire could come out of lockdown and businesses re-open.
"But we still have to abide by the rules and of course as soon as we get a case we will have to go back into lockdown," Cr Fitzpatrick cautioned.
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"With no cases for 15 months in the Bega Valley, we shouldn't have gone into lockdown in the first place though," Cr Fitzpatrick said.
However, Mr Barilaro said the Bega Valley was surrounded by a couple of other local government areas that had cases that would have to be taken into account, adding there were concerns locally about opening up.
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