IT'S been six months to the day since the last case of COVID-19 was confirmed in the North West region.
Despite challenges the region has faced, thousands of swabs have continued to come back negative since April 17.
Hunter New England Health physician Dr David Durrheim said residents ought to be congratulated.
"We hosted the Warriors, we had that large football game, and so far, we seem to have survived the school holidays and the incredible influx of Sydney-siders into regional NSW," he told the Leader.
Twelve Tamworth residents and one Gunnedah resident survived a coronavirus infection, while one woman tragically died from complications related to COVID-19.
The 58-year-old woman was the last local to test positive for the infection on April 17.
While "light at the end of the tunnel" is beginning to seep into everyday life, Dr Durrheim warned the six month mark does not mean the pandemic is over.
"We need to be cautious and not allow six months of good performance lull us into complacency," he said.
The entire state has had a dramatic drop in testing, and the doctor said current rates are unacceptable.
Anyone with event the slightest of cold or flu symptoms should seek out a COVID-19 swab by contacting their GP or contacting a local clinic.
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