Almost 300,000 Queensland residents put on high alert after coronavirus detected in sewage water

Almost 300,000 residents are put on high alert after coronavirus is detected in sewage water in Queensland despite the state going 12 days since its last locally-transmitted Covid-19 case

  • Coronavirus fragments detected at three Queensland wastewater plants
  • Positive readings were found in Townsville, Nambour and Rockhampton 
  • Residents are urged to get tested immediately if they display any symptoms  

Almost 300,000 Queensland residents have been put on high alert after coronvirus particles were detected at three wastewater treatment plants across the state.

Routine testing returned a positive result for viral fragments across the state in Townsville, Nambour and Rockhampton.

Residents living in those areas have been warned to be ‘alert but not alarmed’. 

The warning comes just two weeks after Greater Brisbane was ordered into lockdown when a highly infectious ‘mutant’ strain of the virus breached hotel quarantine.

Up to 300,000 Queensland residents have been put on high alert after coronvirus particles were detected at three wastewater treatment plants across the state. Pictured: Townsville

Up to 300,000 Queensland residents have been put on high alert after coronvirus particles were detected at three wastewater treatment plants across the state. Pictured: Townsville

Queensland Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young has urged locals to get tested immediately if they start to display any COVID-19 symptoms – no matter how mild. 

‘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,’ Dr Young said. 

Although the presence of the deadly virus emerged in wastewater after being detected on January 12, 18 and 19, it does not necessarily mean there are any active cases in the community.

‘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.’

The Sunshine State has gone 12 days without a locally-transmitted Covid-19 case. 

But Dr Young urged Queenslanders not to be complacent. 

Queensland Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young (pictured) has urged locals to get tested immediately if they start to display any COVID-19 symptoms - no matter how mild

Queensland Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young (pictured) has urged locals to get tested immediately if they start to display any COVID-19 symptoms – no matter how mild 

‘I will once again stress the need to be vigilant with any Covid-19 symptoms,’ she said. 

Queensland Health have also reassured the community that local drinking water is still safe.  

‘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.’ 

Greater Brisbane was thrown into a three-day lockdown just two weeks ago after the feared ‘mutant’ strain of coronavirus from the UK breached hotel quarantine.

Routine testing returned a positive result for viral fragments in Townsville, Nambour and Rockhampton

Routine testing returned a positive result for viral fragments in Townsville, Nambour and Rockhampton

Data has suggested the strain is as much as 70 percent more contagious than the initial Covid-19 variant.

A cleaner in her 20s working at the Hotel Grand Chancellor at Spring Hill became infected and transmitted it onto partner in early January.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk ordered an immediate lockdown of the Queensland Capital from January 9 to 11 and also introduced a compulsory mask mandate.

Prior to the woman’s positive case, the state had not had a single locally-transmitted infection for 113 days.

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