Deputy Premier and Health Minister Stephen Miles. Picture: AAP/Tim Marsden
Deputy Premier and Health Minister Stephen Miles. Picture: AAP/Tim Marsden

COVID-19 detected in North Rockhampton sewage

QUEENSLAND Health discovered traces of COVID-19 in sewage tested at the North Rockhampton Sewage Treatment Plant last week.

Deputy Premier and Health Minister Steven Miles said in a press conference this morning that despite there being no new cases of COVID-19 in Queensland, "a small number of positive results" were found in sewage at North Rockhampton, Cannonvale, Cairns, and Goodna.

Mr Miles said that some of those results were expected and others were "a bit mysterious".

"The Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service has stood up their fever clinic for additional hours over coming days, and they just want to increase their testing rate over the next few days just to see if we can get to the bottom of that," he said.

Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said that the Rockhampton case was unexpected, whereas the three others were more easily explained.

"We're not quite sure yet what that really means," she said. "It is an alert.

"I'd ask anyone who lives in Rockhampton who has any symptoms at all to please come forward and get tested … and isolate yourself until you get that result.

"We know people can shed virus for quite some time … we have no idea how long people can shed virus in their faeces.

"It gives us a hint and alerts us that there could be something going on that we don't know about."

On Facebook, Mayor Margaret Strelow said "nobody is sure" what the results mean.

"The tests have been taken routinely around Queensland and ours is from a test last week," she said.

"For now it is important for us to go about our daily lives remembering the basics that we've learnt over the last six months."



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