COVID ‘found in sewage’ in Victoria Suburb despite no known cases

A Melbourne wastewater test blitz revealed traces of COVID-19 at Apollo Bay despite currently no active cases in the area.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews revealed on Wednesday that the virus was detected on Tuesday September 1, in samples taken from the sewerage treatment plant.

“We have had no confirmed cases to date in (Apollo Bay),” he said.

“Then, on September 1, we picked up the first positive sign of some traces of coronavirus in the Apollo Bay water catchment and we picked it up again a second time on the 5th of September.”

In a bid to decipher where the COVID-19 traces originated, the Premier urged residents on Friday and Saturday to get tested with even the mildest of symptoms.

Melbourne Water’s Nick Crosby says that while viral fragments may indicate someone in the community has, or has, COVID-19, it can be discovered for several weeks after the person’s infectious period.

“If you don’t expect cases but you find traces of the virus within your sample, then that can prompt health to follow up with further action,” Crosby said.

“We do think this is an approach which can add real value, cost-effectively, and we have been very careful to make sure that it’s extremely well validated and we can trust the results.”

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