More wastewater samples test positive to COVID-19

Fragments of COVID-19 have been detected in sewerage at four more sites in Queensland.

It comes as the state records nine new COVID-19 cases today, all of which were acquired overseas and detected while in hotel quarantine.

Queensland Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said viral fragments of SARS-CoV-2 had been detected at wastewater treatment plants at Gibson Island (South Brisbane), Cleveland Bay (Townsville) and Pulgul (Hervey Bay) and Maryborough.

“This does not mean we have new cases of COVID-19 in these communities, but we are treating these detections with absolute caution,” Dr Young said.

“A positive sewage result means that someone who has been infected was shedding the virus. Infected people can shed viral fragments and that shedding can happen for several weeks after the person is no longer infectious.”

The samples were collected from the wastewater treatment plants this week.

“Given the recent case of community transmission in Brisbane and the regular detection of cases in other states, I am urging anyone who feels unwell in these communities to get tested and isolate,” Dr Young said.

“Symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, fatigue, diarrhoea, nausea or vomiting, and loss of taste or smell.

“If there is a case we are not yet aware of, it is critical we detect it through our testing mechanisms as quickly as possible to contain any potential spread.”

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