North Coast

COVID-19 sewage fragments detected in Byron Bay

Please attribute to Lynne Weir, Acting Chief Executive, Northern NSW Local Health District

Northern NSW Local Health District is urging people in the Byron region who have even the mildest of symptoms to get tested for COVID-19, after fragments of the virus were detected in samples collected from the Byron Bay sewage treatment plant.

The detection reported today was from a sample taken on 2 September at the Byron Bay sewage treatment plant, which serves about 9,000 people.

Lynne Weir, Acting Chief Executive, Northern NSW Local Health District said there are no new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in residents of Northern NSW Local Health District.

“However, we treat positive wastewater detections seriously as they could indicate there are positive cases in the community who have not been tested”.

“Detections can also be due to shedding of the virus by someone who may have previously had the illness and may no longer be infectious, or from someone who has since left the area”.

“The discovery of virus fragments in wastewater is a reminder that we should not be complacent and to get tested if you have any symptoms, no matter how mild”.

To find your nearest testing clinic, visit https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/how-to-protect-yourself-and-others/clinics or contact your GP.

In Northern NSW, there are 22 sites currently being tested between Grafton and Tweed Heads, as part of the state-wide COVID-19 sewage surveillance program.

Samples are usually collected weekly and more frequently if there is a positive detection.

If fragments are detected in a catchment area, the community is advised immediately.

Comprehensive information on sewage testing can be found on the NSW Health website at: https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/covid-19/Pages/sewage-surveillance.aspx

Sewage testing results are updated daily at: https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/covid-19/Pages/stats-nsw.aspx#map and also reported in the NSW Health weekly epidemiology report: https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/covid-19/Pages/weekly-reports.aspx

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