Adam Marshall’s weekly COVID-19 update as at 5pm, Friday, June 19

As every week goes by, the Northern Tablelands reaches a new milestone on the COVID-19 front, with today marking almost two months since our last confirmed case of coronavirus.

The benefits of this outcome can really be seen across our communities, with streets and business once again starting to bubble with activity, as restrictions continue to ease.

At the end of their fifth week the Glen Innes and Inverell Hospital’s drive-through testing clinics have continued to deliver high screening rates. Glen Innes has seen close to 350 patients, while Inverell has tested 600 – none have produced a positive result.

Hunter New England Health will review both clinics on Monday and make a decision about their continuation.

I want to thank the medical staff who have worked at theses clinics, often in very chilly conditions.

The facilities have done an outstanding job in providing screening for our vulnerable or isolated residents, which has been important in the containment of COVID-19.

It’s been announced that from Wednesday, July 1 the number of people allowed inside indoor venues will be determined by the ‘one person per 4 square metre’ rule, with no upper limit. This change will include function centres, with all patrons at the venue needing to be seated.

Also, we will finally see the easing of one of the most difficult measures imposed during the pandemic, restrictions on attendees at funerals, to allow the four square metre rule to apply.

Additionally, cultural and sporting events at outdoor venues with a maximum capacity of 40,000 will be allowed up to 25 percent of their normal capacity, which means showgrounds and community halls will once open their doors and host events.

My office has started to field calls from horse sport committees looking to again host events like campdrafts and pony clubs, which will also be allowed from 1 July.

From the start of the month these events most definitely will be allowed, however the expectations around social distancing and hygiene on ground will be high.

As each event is unique my advice is each individual organisation should contact their governing body to discuss what planning is required of them.

Enjoy your weekend.