Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young speaks at a press conference. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Jono Searle
Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young speaks at a press conference. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Jono Searle

Tests reveal coronavirus in Coast suburb’s sewerage

Maroochydore residents are being urged to come forward today and be tested if they have any coronavirus symptoms, after virus fragments were detected in sewerage.

Health Minister Steven Miles and Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young on Saturday morning urged people to get tested today, as it was critical to detect any community cases as soon as possible.

Dr Miles, the current Deputy Premier, said samples taken at Maroochydore and Wynnum wastewater plants on October 13, and Sandgate on October 12, had returned positive results for virus fragments, sparking the call for testing.

"What we're asking people in those areas to do … is if they have any symptoms whatsoever, please do go and get tested," he said.

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Dr Miles said it may be "a little more important" over the next week or so, and hospital staff would be meeting today to determine how to increase testing capacity to ensure if there was an influx of people getting tested they could turn the results around quickly and minimise inconvenience.

He urged people, particularly from Maroochydore, Sandgate and Wynnum, to go and get tested if they felt any symptoms.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Health Steven Miles at Speaker's Green, Parliament House and Jeannette Young. Pic Annette Dew
Deputy Premier and Minister for Health Steven Miles at Speaker's Green, Parliament House and Jeannette Young. Pic Annette Dew

The state's Chief Health Officer, Dr Jeannette Young, said the positive results were on the back of four weeks of negative tests in the three locations.

"So there is something happening in those three locations," she said at this morning's press conference in Brisbane.

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She said it could be someone who recently had the infection, who had visited the locations who was not infectious, had recovered, but was still "shedding virus".

"It could be that, we don't track people once we clear them of the infection," Dr Young said.

"But it could of course be a person that we've not picked up that's out there in the community."

Dr Young said it was really important anyone unwell across the state came forward and got tested, and in the three areas where positive sewerage results had occurred, to come forward today if they had any symptoms and get tested.

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She said it had been over a month since the state had an infectious case in the community, but there could be an infectious again "any day".

"But we can manage it, we managed it last time, we'll be able to manage it next time, as long as we find those cases as soon as we can possibly find them, that is absolutely critical," Dr Young said.


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