Welcome to Monday, and to a new week that begins with the reopening of the COVID testing clinic in Armidale - a sign of the cautious and tense mood in NSW as we watch events unfolding to our south.
The numbers coming out of Victoria each day are alarming - and the spread now occurring in Victorian aged care is a frightening reminder of what can happen if this virus gets away from us.
We've all heard the advice - if you are feeling at all unwell, isolate and go out only to get a test. We may feel safe here in Armidale at the moment - but we know this "stealthy" virus won't take much encouragement to spread far and wide.
The Armidale clinic will be operating from today and will be open from 1pm to 3pm, Monday to Friday, with the possibility to extend hours if demand increases.
There were also changes this week to arrangements at Hunter-New England health facilities. Keep up to date with those here.
A reminder too of the The strict new COVID-19 rules for clubs, restaurants and cafes which are now in force.
While some people bristle at being asked to consider wearing a face covering in public places where social distancing can't be guaranteed, it may well only be a matter of time before this becomes enforced in NSW.
I read a quote somewhere from a COVID survivor this weekend that went something like this; "If you think face masks are uncomfortable, you should try a ventilator."
There are already reports of shortages of masks and of price gouging going on.
Luckily in our communities there are plenty of crafty and industrious people, like the Kelly family who have been hitting the sewing machines to make masks.
What a great way to fill in that extra spare time by not only being creative, but also doing some real practical good to help protect us all from this virus.
Have a great week and stay safe.