UPDATED: More wastewater samples test positive for Covid
Fraser Coast Mayor George Seymour has urged residents to stay calm and follow the advice of health authorities following positive wastewater Covid test results.
The Pulgul positive sample was taken on January 5. The site, which services Kawungan, Nikenbah, Scarness, Torquay, Urangan and Wondunna had returned negative samples in the weeks preceding.
Maryborough, which services Aldershot, Granville, Island Plantation, Maryborough, Maryborough West, Oakhurst, St Helens and Tinana returned positive results on samples taken on December 22 and January 4.
The sample taken from before Christmas was delayed in transit and a negative sample was taken on January 5. It had been negative in the weeks preceding.
Cr Seymour said the Fraser Coast Regional Council was committed to supporting Queensland Health as the lead agency responding to Covid-19.
"It is important to stay calm and stay informed. There is no need to panic as a result of today's announcement, with the Chief Health Officer stressing there is no concern for the community," he said.
"Importantly, the virus fragment was detected in sewage and has nothing to do with the quality of our drinking water. Our water is safe to drink, to shower in and to use in cooking or watering your garden.
"It also needs to be understood that the virus is killed by usual sewage treatment processes before it is discharged to the environment."
On the Fraser Coast, fever clinics are located at the Maryborough Hospital and at the car park near the St Stephen's Hospital in Hervey Bay and are open seven days a week from 7.30am to 5.30pm.
"If anyone has any concerns, they should get tested or contact 13 HEALTH for further advice."
More information and advice is available here.
Fragments of COVID-19 have been detected in sewerage at four sites in Queensland, including two in the Fraser Coast region.
It comes as the state records nine new COVID-19 cases today, all of which were acquired overseas and detected while in hotel quarantine.
Queensland Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said viral fragments of SARS-CoV-2 had been detected at wastewater treatment plants at Gibson Island (South Brisbane), Cleveland Bay (Townsville) and Pulgul (Hervey Bay) and Maryborough.
"This does not mean we have new cases of COVID-19 in these communities, but we are treating these detections with absolute caution," Dr Young said.
"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."
The samples were collected from the wastewater treatment plants this week.
"Given the recent case of community transmission in Brisbane and the regular detection of cases in other states, I am urging anyone who feels unwell in these communities to get tested and isolate," Dr Young said.
"Symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, fatigue, diarrhoea, nausea or vomiting, and loss of taste or smell.
"If there is a case we are not yet aware of, it is critical we detect it through our testing mechanisms as quickly as possible to contain any potential spread."
Click here for a full list of COVID-19 testing locations, with interactive map and postcode search.
If your local testing clinic is crowded, consider attending another one.