Gold Coast residents are being urged to be vigilant for symptoms of COVID after more fragments of the virus were again detected in the city’s sewage.
Routine testing of wastewater at the Merrimac treatment plant on December 24 returned positive tests.
While it’s not the first time the virus has been detected in sewage on the Gold Coast, officials are on edge because of the growing outbreak in New South Wales and the emerging cases in Victoria.
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Testing at the Bundamba plant in West Moreton also came back positive for COVID.
“These positive test results are concerning as they may indicate either a recovered case or undetected active cases living in or visiting the area,” Chief Health Officer Jeanette Young said.
“It is very important that anyone in the Bundamba and Merrimac catchments who has COVID-19 symptoms, no matter how mild, comes forward for testing. If there are active cases in the area, it is important that we detect them early to prevent further transmission.
“It’s not just residents we want to reach, but holiday-makers as well.”
But the State Opposition says testing capabilities need to be boosted if officials want more people to be swabbed.
“We can’t afford people who may have the virus to give up after waiting in line for hours and hours,” Shadow Health Minister Ros Bates said.
“If the Labor government is urging people to get tested then there must be adequate facilities right across Queensland.”
Dr Young says they are continuing to monitor the situation in New South Wales and Victoria amid concerns Queensland will extend its border closure beyond Greater Sydney.
Queenslanders are also being urged to reconsider plans to travel to either state for the time being.
“The next 24 hours are critical for Victoria and the NSW cluster is growing daily. Queensland is in a good position right now because we acted quickly to declare greater Sydney a hotspot,” Dr Young said.
“We’ve worked hard to keep COVID-19 out of the Queensland community and we do not want that to come undone because of complacency.”
Queensland recorded three new cases yesterday, all returned travellers in hotel quarantine.
One of those was a traveller from Ghana who tested positive to the highly contagious UK strain of the virus.
The man in his 30s has since been transferred to hospital.