Hospital staff are scrambling to prepare for the wave of coronavirus infections, more than doubling their intensive care units and ramping up their testing capacity.
Murrumbidgee Local Health District has begun preparing for a scenario when all the beds are stretched to full capacity and the hospital cannot take any more patients.
MLHD set up a coronavirus hotline on Saturday, which has so far received 337 calls that led to 89 tests at Wagga Base Hospital.
MLHD director of medical services Lenert Bruce said at this stage they were only testing higher-risk cases to ease the burden on the medical system.
"The community may be concerned such a small number of patients meet the testing criteria, but the reason for that is to make sure we test the most appropriate patients and do not overwhelm the testing facilities," Dr Bruce said.
"There is work to provide testing in regional areas - it's currently being tested and evaluated and hopefully we will be able to have testing locally in a number of weeks."
Plans are underway to set up more testing clinics is smaller regional areas, with the exact sites to be announced in the coming weeks.
After more testing clinics go online, health officials plan to relax the criteria for coronavirus testing and increase the number of tests to lower-risk cases.
Dr Bruce said testing was currently not necessary for most residents, since the vast majority of infections happened overseas with very few people contracting coronavirus through community transmission.
"To assure the community that irrespective of where you live in the MLHD you will always have access to the best possible care, we have teams of infection control nurses and educators throughout the district to make sure that staff at all the smaller sites are appropriately trained to manage patients who potentially could have COVID-19," Dr Bruce said.
Wagga Base Hospital currently has 12 intensive care unit beds, but could expand capacity to 26 beds, or at a stretch 36 beds if the situation reaches a worst-case scenario.
There are currently no confirmed infections in Wagga and surrounding areas, but statewide there have been 353 cases at the time of publication.
More information about testing criteria, coronavirus symptoms, and rolling updates can be found on the MLHD or NSW Health website.