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Wynnum, Bargara, Bundaberg: Wastewater returns positive detection

24 December 2020

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 December 21 and 22, are particularly concerning in light of the recent NSW cluster.

“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 in New South Wales.”

Dr Young said she was calling on the Wynnum, Bargara and Bundaberg 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 live in these areas and you have been in the Greater Sydney area on or since 11 December, 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.

“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:


Last updated: 24 December 2020