While no cases of COVID-19 have been detected in the community yet, Dr Durrheim has urged people to get tested if they have symptoms, or stay home.
"I think personally that we should all be restricting our movement at this point," he said.
"Even though we are not under a stay-at-home order, we should really try to starve the virus of any opportunity of spreading.
"People should be asking themselves - do I really have to work in the work place or can I do it at home? Can I limit the amount of travel from my home? Can I limit my exercise to nearby? Can I limit the amount of shopping I do?
"All of us have a role to play - at the moment we just don't know how much or how man people could be infectious. We need to be super vigilant, and limit our movements and our engagements."
Together with other health professionals, Dr Durrheim is holding his breath following the detection of high levels of COVID-19 in Newcastle's sewage system.
NSW recorded 233 new locally acquired cases in the 24 hours to 8pm on Tuesday. 103 are linked to a known case or cluster, 79 are household contacts and 24 are close contacts.
Chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant said health authorities were "very concerned" by the Hunter testing results.
There is no such thing as a false positive, Dr Durrheim said.
Either someone passing through, or someone living in the area has COVID-19 and there is no way of knowing which strain, so we could be facing the 'formidable foe' which the Delta strain has proven itself to be, he said.
"This is why we have really put out an urgent call for people to get tested," he said." You have got to prove that it is not COVID-19."
"Every single one of us that has a sore throat, runny nose, shortness of breath, chest pain, or a fever, don't hesitate, immediately go and get tested, go home, and isolate - don't take the virus out in the community until you get a negative result.
"All of us have to work together at this stage to make sure that we stamp out COVID in Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, and southern Port Stephens.
The results come from samples taken on Monday and which returned positive late on Tuesday night for the sewage treatment plants in the Greater Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and Southern Port Stephens.
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Together, the three treatment plants cover a population of over 400,000 people across Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and southern Port Stephens, but the area of most concern was those serviced by the Shortland treatment plant, which serves 60,000 people.
That includes the suburbs of Shortland, Cameron Park, Minmi, Fletcher, Maryland, Birmingham Gardens, Wallsend, Callaghan, Sandgate, Kooragang, Mayfield West, Fern Bay, Fullerton Cove and Stockton.
At this stage the best case scenario is that either someone living locally is tested and returns a positive result before they infect other members of the community, or someone who has visited the area can be traced back to where and when they were here, he said.
"It's either very mobile visitors or it's multiple visitors or it is people who are travelling because they have reasonable excuse, such as that they are travelling for work and who may have been in a team, but we really cannot exclude that there could be local transmission and - even if it was visitors, we have no idea if they might have infected someone else."
Of the three treatment plans, Belmont returned the lowest level of detection. It services a population of 115,000 living in Belmont, Warners Bay, Gateshead, Tingira Heights, Bennetts Green, Jewells, Redhead, Eleebana, Croudace Bay, Valentine, Marks Point, Blacksmiths, Pelican, Swansea, Swansea Heads, and Caves Beach.
Burwood, which services a population of 225,000, returned slightly higher levels of detection, Dr Durrheim said. It takes in the Newcastle City area and surrounding suburbs of Dudley, Charlestown, Jesmond, Lambton, New Lambton, Mayfield, Elermore Vale, Wallsend, Kotara, Garden Suburb, Adamstown Heights, Kahibah, Highfields, Merewether, Waratah West, Georgetown and Carrington.
Public COVID-19 testing clinics:
- Belmont Hospital Drive-through Clinic - 16 Croudace Bay Road, Belmont. Follow signs on campus
- Calvary Mater Newcastle Hospital - Screening desk located inside of front entrance, Edith and Plath Street, Waratah
- Cessnock Hospital Drive-through Clinic - 24 View Street, Cessnock
- John HunterHospital - Adjacent to the Emergency Department, Lookout Road, New Lambton Heights
- Maitland Hospital - Health Services Unit, 560 High Street, Maitland
- Singleton Hospital Drive-through Clinic - Follow signs at main entrance, Dangar Road, Singleton
- University of Newcastle Drive-throughClinic - ICT car park, entry from University Drive, Callaghan
Private COVID-19 testing clinics
- Adamstown Laverty Pathology Drive-through Clinic - 91 Victoria Street, Adamstown, nter carpark via Victoria Street. Please do not exit your car.
- Cessnock Laverty Pathology Drive-through Clinic - Cessnock Civic Indoor Sports Centre car park, 88 Mount View Road
- East Maitland 4Cyte Pathology Drive-through Clinic - Stockade Hill Carpark, Brisbane Street, East Maitland
- Gateshead Laverty Pathology Drive-through Clinic - Harold Knight Oval, Pacific Highway (Entry via Willow Road)
- Morisset Douglass Hanly Moir Pathology Drive-through Clinic - 40 Ourimbah Street, Morisset
- Nelson Bay Laverty Pathology Drive-through Clinic - 20 Aquatic Close, Nelson Bay
- South Maitland Laverty Pathology Drive-through Clinic - Maitland Showground, Blomfield Street (entry via Anzac Street), South Maitland
- Wallsend 4Cyte Pathology Drive-through Clinic - 173 Nelson Street, Wallsend
- Warners Bay 4Cyte Pathology Drive-through Clinic - Central Church, 290 Hillsborough Road, Warners Bay
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