Friday, January 21, 2022

COVID wastewater alert for 11 suburbs in Melbourne’s west, residents urged to get tested

COVID-19 fragments have been detected in wastewater in Melbourne’s outer west, with residents urged to get tested.

Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said the viral fragments were “weak” but residents and recent visitors to the area with “even mild symptoms” should arrange a coronavirus test immediately.

The suburbs in the wastewater catchment area are Taylors Hill, Plumpton, Hillside, Sydenham, Delahey, Caroline Springs, Burnside Heights, Kings Park, Albanvale, Burnside and Deer Park.

Professor Sutton said the viral fragment was from a sample collected on February 22.

“Anyone who has been in these suburbs and has any symptoms of COVID-19 from 20 to 22 February is urged to get tested,” he said.

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“Fragments of the virus detected in wastewater may be due to a person with COVID-19 being in the early active infectious phase.

“Or it could be because someone is continuing to shed the virus after the early infectious period.”

It comes as Victoria recorded no new cases on Saturday from more than 10,000 tests.

There are 15 active cases in the state: four from hotel quarantine and 11 acquired by people in the community.

A total of 711 COVID-19 vaccination doses were administered on Friday in Victoria, with 3613 administered since the program started on Monday.

Victorians also returned to looser restrictions this week, with 30 people now allowed inside the home and 100 people allowed at outdoor gatherings.

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Public and private sector office workers can return to work at up to 75 per cent a day.

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Masks are only required on public transport, in rideshare vehicles and taxis, in sensitive settings such as aged care facilities – and in some larger retail settings including indoor shopping centres, supermarkets, department stores and indoor markets.

Density limits remain for pubs, restaurants and cafes, beauty services, retail business, gyms, funerals and wedding and nightclubs and community facilities, such as libraries, RSLs and community halls.

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