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More wastewater samples test positive to COVID-19

28 January 2021

Fragments of COVID-19 have been detected in sewerage in South East Queensland.

Queensland Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said viral fragments of SARS-CoV-2 had been detected at three wastewater treatment plants at Coombabah, Capalaba and Sandgate.

“This does not mean we have new cases of COVID-19 in these communities, but we are treating this detection 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 was collected from the wastewater treatment plant early last week.

“I am urging anyone who feels unwell and has any symptoms of COVID-19, no matter how mild, 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.”

For more information about Queensland’s wastewater surveillance program, visit

To access a full list of COVID-19 testing locations, with interactive map and post code search, visit:

If your local testing clinic is crowded, consider attending another one.


Last updated: 28 January 2021