THE lockdown across regional Victoria may help Albury and other southern NSW councils escape from restrictions on Saturday.
NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro expressed concern about a growing cluster of cases around Shepparton but also noted the Victorian country lockdown, which began on Saturday, could aid those in the Riverina.
"It will work in favour of that region by having the lockdown in regional Victoria....but it's too early to call," Mr Barilaro said on Monday.
"Let's get to Wednesday and by Wednesday I'll have enough data and information to be upfront and honest with the public about where we're going to go next."
Mr Barilaro said before the Shepparton outbreak it appeared a near-certainty that Murray region councils would have been freed of restrictions.
"Last week we had no cases in your region and if you had asked me last week I almost would have guaranteed you were coming out, but how quickly things change day-in, day-out," he said.
Mr Barilaro said there was a possibility the border bubble could be tweaked to remove Shepparton if Health Department officials believe "it will protect us going forward".
The NSW Nationals leader indicated he would assess data today and tomorrow before probably announcing a decision publicly on regional lockdowns on Thursday.
Mr Barilaro suggested any extensions would be for 14 or 28 days rather than a week.
The Mansfield man in his 60s had been treated in his hometown hospital before being taken to Wangaratta, Victorian COVID commander Jereon Weimar.
He has since been transferred to the Northern Hospital in Melbourne.
Wangaratta mayor Dean Rees said there were long queues for COVID testing at the weekend and on Monday in his community.
He said Northeast Health had advised staff involved in treating the Mansfield man, who had been in Shepparton, had produced negative tests thus far.
Cr Rees said he would not be shocked if COVID had spread to Wangaratta.
"It wouldn't surprise me if there were cases, we do have a lot of contact with Shepparton," he said.
Meanwhile, Mr Barilaro confirmed roadhouses again could have truck drivers eat-in after a ban last week.
He said stopping dining-in was a blanket rule to protect people but it was clear it could have the opposite effect for freight haulers given health and safety needs.