COVID-19 viral fragments detected in wastewater

Low levels of viral fragments of coronavirus (COVID 19) were detected in samples taken last week at the wastewater treatment plant in Castlemaine.

Wastewater monitoring can show the possible presence of coronavirus (COVID-19) in a local community, however detecting the virus in wastewater does not always mean there is an active case of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the area.

The Victorian Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) has undertaken daily tests on Castlemaine wastewater up to 22 December 2020.

Coronavirus (COVID 19) was not detected in the second test sample taken on 17 December 2020.

It is anticipated that daily test results for 18 through 22 December will also be clear.

A likely explanation for the detection is that a person or people shedding the virus may have visited the area. People who have recovered from COVID-19 and are no longer infectious continue to shed the virus for many weeks. DHHS report seeing similar patterns in multiple locations across the state and expect this to continue. It is not a cause for concern.

“From the beginning the information we received indicated that levels of COVID 19 detected in our wastewater were very low and likely to be isolated,” says Castlemaine Health CEO, Ian Fisher.

“This has now been confirmed.”

“Regardless of these results, it remains vitally important that any Victorians with COVID-19 symptoms, no matter how mild, stay home and get tested.”

Anyone travelling to Castlemaine and surrounding areas from the Northern Beaches and other NSW exposure sites should also be tested and self-quarantine until they receive a negative result.

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