Armidale is on 'red alert' as surrounding communities are affected by the pandemic.
While it was announced on Friday that Glen Innes was entering a seven-day lockdown following a COVID-19 case, there have also been fragments located in sewage tests at Uralla and Inverell.
Mayor Ian Tiley was in Armidale mall on Friday morning and he said it was vibrant and cafes were full.
"There was an air of relief and optimism," Cr Tiley said.
"I get a sense that the community is still on red alert, one case and we are back in lockdown, but it might only be for seven days so that gives us some hope.
"All this tells me that we are not out of the danger zone we still have to have social distancing, wear masks and get vaccinated."
Cr Tiley said Armidale could not afford to go into lockdown - in either an economic or a social sense.
The seven-day lockdown was announced early Friday afternoon.
A Glen Innes resident who tested positive to COVID-19, had been active in the community during their infectious period on September 14 and 15.
The exposure sites are all from Tuesday and are: Kent Engineering and Mechanical from 9am to 9.10am; National Australia Bank from 10.25am to 10.35am; and Pathology New England from 9.45am to 10.15am.
Around 15 casual contacts have been identified by NSW Health. They are all being tested and are in isolation.
The person who returned the positive case had been in Sydney for essential work. They are now isolating at home.
The news comes following the announcement on Friday morning that fragments of COVID-19 were detected in the sewage at Uralla, Gunnedah and Inverell.
NSW deputy chief health officer Dr Marianne Gale urged residents in the New England North West region to get tested.
"I'd like to call out some areas where we've had a positive sewage detection and particularly asked residents of these areas to come forward for testing and to be vigilant symptoms," she said.
"My message to everyone is to continue to get your vaccinations and obey all the rules and we will come through this," he said.
Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall said the most recent test of the sewage on Friday morning returned a positive reading for COVID-19 fragments in Uralla and Inverell.
"While this does not mean there is definitely a case or cases of COVID-19 in the community, it is very concerning news," he said.
"If you have even the most mild of symptoms, please present immediately for testing, otherwise follow the stay-at-home order, mask up and get vaccinated.
"I will provide more information when it comes to hand."
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