‘Get tested’: Byron Bay residents on alert after fragments of Covid detected in sewage

Erin LyonsNCA NewsWire
VideoNSW records 124 new COVID-19 cases overnight

Fragments of Covid-19 have been detected in the sewage plant at Byron Bay, more than 750km from Sydney where the virus continues to ripple across the city.

NSW Health issued an alert late on Thursday, urging locals to get tested.

The treatment plant serves about 19,000 residents across Byron Bay, Wategos, Suffolk Park, Sunrise and Broken Head.

“There are no known cases in this area, which is of great concern,” NSW Health said.

“Everyone in the area is asked to be especially vigilant for symptoms, and if they appear, to immediately come forward for testing and isolate until a negative result is received. “

Byron Bay residents have been told to get tested. Pat Suraseang
Camera IconByron Bay residents have been told to get tested. Pat Suraseang Credit: Supplied

The alert came after NSW recorded its worst day since the outbreak began on June 16.

There were 124 local cases yesterday, with 48 of those in the community for their entire infectious period – also the largest figure since the beginning of the latest cluster.

“Given the number of infectious (people) in the community, I’m expecting case numbers to go up even higher,” NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said.

“It’s really, really important to continue those high rates of testing because, as Dr (Kerry) Chant said earlier this week and towards the end of last week, it’s really important for us to scoop up all the possible cases that are out there.

“There’s no doubt, again, that we anticipate case numbers will continue to go up before they start coming down and we need to brace ourselves for that.”

About 85,000 people came forward for testing in the latest reporting period.

Camera IconNSW recorded 124 cases on Thursday. NCA Newswire /Gaye Gerard Credit: News Corp Australia

The virus is rapidly spreading through the Fairfield Local Government area and there are concerns “spill over” is happening in the Canterbury-Bankstown and Cumberland LGAs.

People in those communities are being urged to come forward for testing.

Fifty-four of the new cases announced on Thursday were from South Western Sydney Local Health District (LHD) and 40 were from Western Sydney LHD, which are two areas of major concern.

Experts are concerned lockdown measures could last into September, given numbers continue to rise.

Modelling by the Populations Intervention Unit at the University of Melbourne predicted that with the tough new lockdown rules put in place on July 18, it could take as long as seven-and-a-half weeks from that date to push the community infection numbers down to an acceptable level.

That would mean the lockdown wouldn’t end until the second week of September.

Originally published as ‘Get tested’: Byron Bay residents on alert after fragments of Covid detected in sewage

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