Central Coast resident Christine Smith is going through 14 days of self-isolation after serving a person who was at high risk of transmitting COVID-19.
She and her husband Greg Smith own Charmhaven Newsagency, which NSW Health listed as an exposure site along with 15 other shops that the high-risk person visited over five days.
This person had tested negative, but was considered extremely high risk because transmission of the Delta strain between household members occurs in "almost 100 per cent" of cases.
This person was supposed to be self-isolating under public health orders.
To protect the community, health authorities essentially treated this person as being infectious.
Mr and Mrs Smith, of San Remo, have been living a nightmare of personal and financial worries since learning their newsagency was exposed.
"My emotions have gone up and down. Last night I was really worried, thinking oh my god what if I really have this? Your mind just goes 100 mile an hour," Mrs Smith said.
"I've been really worried about myself, Greg and the business. If I gave it [COVID] to Greg, it'd be the worst thing ever."
Mr Smith got her COVID-19 test result back on Wednesday morning. It was negative.
Mrs Smith has had one shot of the AstraZeneca vaccine, while Mr Smith had been due to get vaccinated on Thursday but had to postpone it.
They've had to employ another person to help Mr Smith at the newsagency. He has been working there on his own 12 hours a day.
"I feel bad that he's been there by himself and I can't help him," Mrs Smith said.
Mr Smith said their business had lost at least 50 per cent of trade this week.
"It's been really hard. My wife was terrified. She's been at her wit's end," he said.
Mr and Mrs Smith were disappointed that NSW Health had not made clear that the person who exposed their newsagency was negative to COVID. They had believed the person was a positive case.
"We need to know what's going on. We're in our 60s. It's not easy," Mrs Smith said.
Mrs Smith said it had been hard in isolation.
"I have to stay in my bedroom while Greg is home. I prepare my meal before he gets home, then he has to do his meal," she said.
"We only have one bathroom, so I've been disinfecting everything with spray and wipe just in case."
The pair have had to wear masks when both inside their house.