Eurobodalla Shire residents are calling for more prompt release of COVID-19 venues of concern, as the region grapples with it's first infections of the virus in more than a year.
Following the announcement of the first new COVID-19 case in Batemans Bay on Monday, September 6, a list of venues of concern were released more than 48 hours later, one of which was five days old.
NSW Health has defended the delays of information being released, and said they did not disclose details about venues of concern unless there was a public health reason.
"When a confirmed COVID-19 case attends a venue while possibly infectious, NSW Health carries out a risk assessment on that venue to determine whether other people may have been exposed, and whether there is a public health risk," a spokesperson said.
"NSW Health takes proactive steps to contact all close contacts of the case, to give advice on testing, isolation, symptoms to be aware of, and their level of risk.
"Where a high-risk exposure venue is identified from the case interview, QR code information is used to identify and inform people who may have been exposed at that venue."
But a COVID-19 Information for the Eurobodalla Facebook group was started this week by shire residents, who said they had felt "left in the dark" when it came to information about cases in the shire.
In a matter of days, the group grew to more than 1400 members.
One of the admins of the page, Nicole Evans, said she started the group to help reduce some of the anxiety felt by the community at the unknown.
"It has been taking so long to find out exposure sites. The first time the venues were released, they listed dates from a week earlier, which is too late when people have been out and about," she said.
"We have to be proactive as a community. We are better off knowing sooner rather than later, people are desperate for information."
Ms Evans wanted to ensure the group only posted factual information, so as not to cause unnecessary alarm.
"Someone contacted me about an exposure venue a week before NSW Health confirmed it, but I didn't put it in the group because I didn't have information about a date or times," she said.
"We don't want to post things that will cause problems and we want to keep it a positive group with the correct information."
However, a spokesperson acknowledged that the Delta outbreak and growing case numbers had created "significant challenges for the health system, including the public health response".
"The capacity of public health teams is closely monitored and continues to be expanded to meet the increasingly high demand," the spokesperson said.
"Across NSW Health, including public health units around the state, there are currently more than 1000 staff working to contract trace confirmed COVID-19 cases and contacts, including support from the Australian Defence Force."
All people who are diagnosed with COVID-19 self-isolate to ensure there is no ongoing risk of infection to others in the community.
Close contacts are asked to get tested, and complete 14 days' self-isolation, even if their initial test result is negative.