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sewage treatment plant

COVID-19 fragments have been detected in local sewage samples.

Virus fragments detected in Bonny Hills sewage

Sep 08, 2021

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Mid North Coast Local Health District is urging locals with even the mildest of symptoms to get tested for COVID-19 following the detection of fragments of the virus in sewage samples taken from the Bonny Hills sewage treatment plant on 6 September 2021.

There are no new confirmed cases of COVID-19 anywhere in the Mid North Coast Local Health District.

The Bonny Hills sewage treatment plant serves around 7,000 residents of Lake Cathie and Bonny Hills in the Port Macquarie-Hastings local government area.

No recent cases have been detected in this location, so people are urged to monitor for the onset of symptoms and, if they appear, to immediately be tested and isolate until a negative result is received.

Detection of virus fragments in sewage can help provide early warning of undetected infections in an area but can also be due to shedding of the virus by someone who may have previously had the illness and may no longer be infectious.

It can also be the result of a person with COVID-19 who may have visited the community and has since left the area. As well as being present in stools, viral fragments can enter the sewer when washed off hands and bodies through sinks and showers.

Usual sewage treatment processes inactivate, or kill, the COVID-19 virus.

We strongly encourage people in the area to remain vigilant and get tested for even the mildest of symptoms.

Symptoms of COVID-19 can include a runny nose, scratchy or sore throat, cough, fever, shortness of breath, headache, tiredness, loss of taste or smell, nausea, diarrhoea or muscle aches.

Anyone feeling unwell should immediately get tested and self-isolate until they receive a negative result, so that any potential cases in the community are identified as quickly as possible.

There are COVID-19 testing clinics located across the Mid North Coast at Kempsey, Bellingen, Coffs Harbour, Macksville, Nambucca Heads, Port Macquarie, Lake Cathie, South West Rocks, Wauchope and Woolgoolga.

A full list of clinic locations and opening hours are listed on the NSW Government website. There are more than 485 COVID-19 testing locations across NSW, many of which are open seven days a week.

MNCLHD is also encouraging people to get vaccinated as soon as possible to protect themselves against COVID-19. There are more than 100 NSW vaccination clinics and outreach locations across the state.

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