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Positive wastewater detections in Townsville, Nambour and Rockhampton

Routine wastewater testing has returned a positive result for viral fragments of COVID-19 in sewage at treatment plants at three locations across the state.

Queensland Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said positive sewage results, collected on 12, 18 and 19 January 2021, were cause for the community to be alert, but not alarmed.

“A positive sewage result means that someone who has been infected or is currently infected, is shedding the virus,” Dr Young said.

“Infected people can shed viral fragments and that shedding can happen for several weeks to months after the person is no longer infectious.

“This does not necessarily mean we have new cases of COVID-19 in these communities, but I will once again stress the need to be vigilant with any COVID-19 symptoms.”

Dr Young said she was calling on the Townsville, Nambour and Rockhampton communities to get tested immediately if they have any COVID-19 symptoms, no matter how mild.

“Please, get tested,” Dr Young said.

“If there is a case in the community, it is critical we detect it through our testing mechanisms as quickly as possible to contain any potential spread and protect the great progress Queensland has made in recent months.

“I also want to reassure the community, local drinking water is thoroughly treated through processes that are designed to remove or kill microorganisms before they reach your taps – so there is no risk when drinking water, showering, watering the garden, swimming or other activities.”

To access a full list of COVID-19 testing locations, with interactive map and post code search, visit: https://www.qld.gov.au/health/conditions/health-alerts/coronavirus-covid-19/stay-informed/testing-and-fever-clinics

ENDS

Last updated: 23 January 2021