A Covid alert has been issued for 225,000 residents in Newcastle after the virus was detected in a sewerage plant.
Samples taken on April 21 at Burwood Beach Sewage Treatment Plant showed fragments of Covid, with officials fearing there could be undetected cases in the community.
The catchment serves nearly a quarter of a million residents across Newcastle, Merewether, Dudley, Mayfield, Charlestown, Jesmond, Lambton, Georgetown, New Lambton, Elermore Vale, Wallsend, Garden Suburb, Adamstown Heights, Kahibah, Highfields, Waratah West, Kotara and Carrington.
A sample taken on April 21 at Burwood Beach Sewage Treatment Plant showed fragments of Covid
Residents in greater Newcastle have been urged to monitor closely for symptoms and get tested if they develop
Newcastle, Merewether, Dudley, Mayfield, Charlestown, Jesmond, Lambton, Georgetown, New Lambton, Elermore Vale, Wallsend, Garden Suburb, Adamstown Heights, Kahibah, Highfields, Waratah West, Kotara and Carrington
NSW Health said the find is concerning as authorities don’t know whether the fragments are from historical cases or if there are undetected cases.
Residents in greater Newcastle have been urged to monitor closely for symptoms and get tested if they develop.
‘These positive sewage results may indicate the presence of people who have recently recovered from COVID-19, as they can continue to shed fragments of the virus for several weeks after recovery,’ NSW Health said.
It comes after fragments of the virus were found in wastewater treatment plants on Saturday in Allambie Heights, on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, and in Merimbula facility, on the NSW South Coast.
The two NSW wastewater treatment plants service roughly 100,000 people with the residents of 18 suburbs being told to watch for symptoms.
The affected suburbs are Allambie Heights, Balgowlah, Beacon Hill, Curl Curl, North Curl Curl, Brookvale, North Manly, Freshwater, Collaroy, Collaroy Plateau, Narrabeen, Narraweena, Wheeler Heights, Oxford Falls, Dee Why, Cromer and Frenchs Forest.
Two NSW suburbs have been placed on high alert after COVID-19 fragments were found in wastewater (pictured: Gladys Berejiklian and NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard speak at a mass-vaccination centre at Sydney Olympic Park on Thursday)
Residents in Perth (pictured) waiting to get tested for Covid as a three-day WA lockdown started from midnight at Friday
In Victoria health officials have told staff, students, and parents at Caulfield South Primary School in Melbourne they no longer need to quarantine after they were earlier exposed to a Covid close contact.
Officials were organising for the close contact who visited the school to be urgently tested and have the results fast-tracked.
A text message sent just after 12pm on Saturday advised those linked to the school they no longer needed to self-isolate.
In earlier messages sent to the school by health officials and seen by 7 News they advised the school may have been exposed to the close contact on April 22 and 23.
‘You or your child have been identified as attending school with someone who is a close contact of a confirmed coronavirus case,’ the message states.
‘In line with public health requirements, you or your child must try to quarantine in your home away from other household members until notified by the Department of Health.’
The text message also said there was no need to present for testing unless experiencing symptoms.
Victoria has already been rocked by the first case of community transmission in 55 days this week after a man who contracted the virus in Perth travelled home via Melbourne airport on Friday.
The case means Western Australians will now face restrictions if they try to travel to almost everywhere else in the country – even if they are 3,000km away from the ‘outbreak’.
States and Territories across the country are rushing to impose a range of new restrictions for travellers arriving from Western Australia as fears grow of a new wave of Covid cases
Affected Sydney and South Coast suburbs
Virus fragments were found in two waterwater treatment plants in NSW.
The two plants service roughly 100,000 people.
Health authorities have warned residents of the below suburbs to be alert for COVID symptoms.
Allambie Heights, Balgowlah, Curl Curl, North Curl Curl, North Manly, Freshwater, Collaroy, Collaroy Plateau, Narrabeen, Wheeler Heights, Oxford Falls, Dee Why, Cromer, Beacon Hill, Narraweena, Brookvale and Frenchs Forest.
Victoria declared the state a ‘red zone’ while NSW, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory all also ramping up border controls.
Panic was sparked when it was confirmed an infected man in his 50s, who contracted the virus in a hotel quarantine hotel, visited multiple locations across Perth while potentially infectious, before flying to Melbourne.
WA Premier Mark McGowan called a snap three-day lockdown starting at midnight on Saturday, for Perth and the nearby Peel area.
Shortly after, New Zealand put a hold on flights, cutting Western Australia out of the Trans-Tasman bubble.
The red zone declaration by Victoria, called at 2:01am on Saturday, means anyone who travelled from WA will have to do 14 days of hotel quarantine.
Anyone who arrived after April 17 is also required to get tested and immediately self isolate.
Victorian authorities are scrambling to trace passengers who were on board the same flight as the infected man.
All passengers who travelled on Qantas flight QF778 from Perth to Melbourne must do 14 days of quarantine and get tested.
A passenger wearing a facemask as she arrives into the international arrivals area at Sydney’s Kingsford Smith Airport
Anyone who was at Melbourne Airport Terminal 1 on Wednesday between 7.00pm and 7.30pm must get swabbed and self-isolate until they receive a negative test.
NSW will ‘reflect the stay-at-home orders that apply to Western Australia’ for new arrivals from Perth and Peel.
That means travellers will need to self-isolate until midnight on Tuesday.
The health department also started screening all flights from Perth to identify those who visited venues on WA’s Covid hotspot list.
If a traveller is found to have attended any venues of concern they will be made to self-isolate.
Anyone displaying possible symptoms for Covid is encouraged to get tested at clinics across Perth, which will all be open across the three day lockdown (stock image)
Queensland from midnight on Friday will require any resident who has been in Perth or Peel since April 17 to enter hotel quarantine for 14 days while non-residents will require an exemption to enter and also must quarantine.
Anyone entering Queensland before midnight was required to obtain a Covid test and remain at home until 2am on April 27, only going out for essential reasons once they received a negative test.
Tasmania has declared Perth and Peel high-risk regions, with travel and quarantine rules imposed for those coming into the state who may have been in those regions.
The NT also declared Perth and the Peel region Covid-19 hotspots.
South Australia will require anyone who visited ‘hotspot’ venues listed on the WA Health Department website to get tested and isolate until they receive a negative result.
WESTERN AUSTRALIA’S LOCKDOWN RULES EXPLAINED
* Perth Metropolitan and Peel regions have entered a three-day lockdown from midnight on Friday.
* People must stay at home unless shopping for essential supplies such as groceries, attending to medical or healthcare needs, exercising with one other person for up to an hour in your neighbourhood, or attending work if working remotely is not possible.
* No visitors allowed in homes unless caring for a vulnerable person or in an emergency.
* Masks to be worn at all times outside of home, including at work, on public transport and while doing non-vigorous exercise.
* Anzac Day dawn services to be cancelled, with people instead encouraged to stand at the end of their driveways.
* Casinos, nightclubs, entertainment venues and public venues all required to close.
* Community sport not permitted. No crowds at professional sporting events.
* Restaurants, cafes, pubs and bars to provide takeaway service only.
* Weddings and funerals permitted with a limit of 100 attendees.
* People should not leave the combined Perth and Peel regions during this period.
* Others can enter those regions only to access or deliver essential health and emergency services, or other essential needs.
* No visitors to hospitals, residential aged care or disability facilities unless there are exceptional circumstances.
The man at the centre of the Covid cluster left hotel quarantine on April 17 and flew to Melbourne on April 21.
He spent time with family in the Perth suburb of Kardinya before visiting Subiaco and Northbridge.
The man also attended venues in suburbs including Canning Vale, Applecross, Crawley, and Mt Pleasant during his stay.
Authorities believe he contracted the virus through the walls of his room and was infected by a couple from into who were staying in another room across the corridor.
Another woman on the same floor was also infected.
After leaving hotel quarantine the man then infected two others he was in close contact with.
All three are now insolated and genomic sequencing is being carried out to determine the strain and source of the infection.
Medical staff at work at a drive through covid testing site in Inglewood, Perth, Monday, February 1, 2021
FULL LIST OF PERTH LOCATIONS VISITED BY POSITIVE CASE
– Canning Vale: Star Family Medicine Practice 23/04/2021 9:00am – 11:00am
– Kardinya: Terry White Chemmart 22/04/2021 7:10pm – 8:30pm
– Applecross: DB Dental 22/04/2021 8:00am – 6:00pm
– Crawley: St Catherine’s on Park (Heim building) 18/04/2021 – 21/04/2021
– Booragoon: Leisurefit Aquatic Centre 21/04/2021 5:30pm – 7:30pm
– Willetton: Southlands Shopping Centre (specifically: Gilbert’s Fresh Markets, Coles, BankWest 21/04/2021 3:00pm – 3:30pm
– QANTAS domestic terminal (T3 – T4) 21/04/2021 11:00am – 1:00pm
– Crawley: St Catherine’s on Park (Heim building) – Dining Hall 21/04/2021 7:00am – 9:00am
– Northbridge: City China Garden 20/04/2021 5:00pm – 8:00pm
– Northbridge: Good Fortune Roast Duck House 19/04/2021 5:00pm – 8:00pm
– Subiaco: Fortune Acupuncture Chinese Medical Clinic 19/04/2021 1:30pm – 3:00pm
– Kardinya: Kitchen Inn (takeaway) 19/04/2021 12:00pm – 1:00pm
– Applecross: Little Horn Espresso 19/04/2021 11:00am – 12:00pm
– Crawley: St Catherine’s on Park (Heim building) – Dining Hall 19/04/2021 7:00am – 9:00am
– Northbridge: Fortune Five Chinese Restaurant 18/04/2021 5:30pm – 7:00pm
– Kardinya: Aldi 18/04/2021 1:30pm – 3:00pm
– Kardinya: Kitchen Inn 18/04/2021 12:00pm – 2:00pm
– Mount Pleasant: Brentwood Deli 18/04/2021 8:30am – 9:30am
– East Victoria Park: Bananabro 17/04/2021 5:30pm – 8:00pm
– Booragoon: Leisurefit Aquatic centre 17/04/2021 3:30pm – 6:00pm