20 November 2020

COVID-19 detected in Batemans Bay sewage

| Michael Weaver
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COVID-19 testing

NSW Health is urging people in the Batemans Bay area to get tested for COVID-19 after fragments of the virus were found in the sewerage system. Photo: Southern NSW LHD.

NSW Health is calling on people in the Batemans Bay area to get tested for COVID-19 even if they have the mildest symptoms after fragments of the virus were detected in the sewerage system.

Fragments of the virus that causes COVID-19 were detected in samples taken on Tuesday (17 November) as part of the state’s sewage surveillance program. The Batemans Bay catchment takes sewage from about 21,000 people.

NSW Health issued an alert for people in the Batemans Bay area, or those who have visited the area between 17 November and 20 November to get tested for COVID-19.

A NSW Health spokesperson said the positive sewage result may be due to ‘shedding’ of the virus by someone who may have previously had the illness.

“While this positive result may be explained by a previous case who is no longer infectious, as a precaution, NSW Health is calling on people in the Batemans Bay area to get tested if they have even the mildest COVID-19 symptoms,” the spokesperson said.

No new cases of the COVID-19 have been detected in NSW in the past 24 hours.

Due to the recent rise in confirmed COVID-19 cases in South Australia, NSW Health is asking people coming to NSW from South Australia, by whatever mode of transport, to complete a declaration form to identify whether they have visited any of the areas of concern identified by the South Australian authorities. This also applies people who have been in South Australia within the past 14 days.

Anyone who has been in South Australia since Friday, 6 November should regularly monitor the SA Health alert page for venues of concern and follow the advice of SA Health. They must immediately self-isolate if they have been to any venues where this is advised, and get tested if even the mildest COVID-19 symptoms appear.

NSW Health continues to advise NSW residents to defer non-essential travel to Adelaide, while people from Adelaide should defer non-essential travel to NSW.

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Although there have been no new locally acquired cases in NSW for the past 13 days, new cases have appeared in the past after several days of no reported cases as transmission can occur among people with mild or no symptoms. If people don’t come forward for testing, outbreaks can easily be missed early on when they can be more readily controlled.

There are more than 300 COVID-19 testing locations across NSW. To find your nearest clinic visit COVID-19 testing clinics or contact your GP. The Southern NSW Local Health District COVID triage line is 1800 318 248.

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