MORE than 750 COVID tests have been done in Wodonga over the past two days in response to border restrictions being introduced at the weekend.
The need for those entering Victoria from regional NSW and elsewhere beyond the border bubble to have swabs and isolate has driven the spike in testing.
On Tuesday a second drive-through clinic was opened at Wodonga racecourse to ease the pressure on the Vermont Street hub which had lengthy queues on Monday with patients waiting for up to five hours.
There were 414 tests done on Tuesday, following on from 339 on Monday.
On Tuesday last week there were 114 samples taken.
There has also been a jump across the Murrumbidgee Local Health District with 557 tests on Sunday and 608 on Monday, nearly the same amount as the service has been averaging across an entire week in recent times.
Albury Wodonga Health acting chief operating officer Lucie Shanahan said she was very thankful that so many people have been willing to be tested.
"We know that waiting is a particularly frustrating experience for people but people were lined up for the right reason," Dr Shanahan said.
"We know that it is the best way that we can keep a track of COVID-19 across the region and it's the best way we can keep our community safe."
Wodonga councillor John Watson was among those tested on Monday, after arriving at 8am to a line of vehicles he waited for three-and-half hours.
He received a negative result on Tuesday but still has to isolate until next week after travelling to Sydney at the weekend.
The racecourse testing site will be open today but is subject to a daily review.
Meanwhile, a NSW government package to assist traders hit by the Sydney lockdown has been welcomed by Business NSW regional manager Murray-Riverina Anthony McFarlane.
The aid has Dine and Discovery vouchers extended to August 31 and lets them to be used for takeaway food
"For small businesses of 20 or fewer employees including sole traders, they'll be eligible for grants of either $5000, $7000 or $10,000, depending on the nature of the loss in turnover they can demonstrate," Mr McFarlane said.
"Importantly for the Murray-Riverina region, tourism or hospitality related business can claim the grants if its turnover is less than $10 million each year."
Businesses will be able to apply for the grants through Service NSW from later in July and will need to show a decline in turnover across a minimum two-week period after the start of major restrictions on June 26.
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