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Warwick, Stanthorpe, Loganholme, Cairns: Positive wastewater

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

It comes as Queensland records two new COVID-19 cases today, both overseas acquired and detected while in hotel quarantine.

Queensland Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said positive sewage results, collected on 29 and 30 December 2020, are particularly concerning in light of the ongoing situation in New South Wales and Victoria.

“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,” Dr Young said.

“While this doesn’t necessarily mean we have new cases of COVID-19 in these communities, I am treating this with absolute caution given the emerging situation across several other states.”

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

“Please, get tested,” Dr Young said.

“In particular, if you have been to Victoria or hotspots in New South Wales, please come forward and get tested regardless of whether or not you have symptoms.

“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.

“The community has rallied to get tested – we have performed over 20,000 tests in the past two days alone.

“Please remember, if your local testing clinic is crowded, consider attending another one.

“But 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

Last updated: 5 January 2021