People in the Batemans Bay area are being urged to come forward for testing if they have any COVID-19 symptoms after fragments of the virus that causes COVID-19 were detected in samples from the sewerage system that serves Batemans Bay. The catchment takes sewage from approximately 21,000 people. The virus fragments were detected through the state’s ongoing sewage surveillance program.
The presence of SARS-CoV-2 in sewage may reflect the presence of people who have recovered from COVID-19 such as people released from hotel isolation returning to their place of residence.
However, NSW Health is concerned there could be other active cases in the local community in people who have not been tested and who might incorrectly assume their symptoms are just a cold.
People in these areas must monitor for any COVID-19 symptoms and immediately get tested should even the mildest of symptoms appear. Symptoms of COVID-19 include runny nose, sore/scratchy throat, cough, shortness of breath, fever, loss of taste or loss of smell. After testing, you must self-isolate until a negative result is received.
The closest COVID-19 testing clinic to Batemans Bay’s is at Moruya Hospital and Health Service. For NSW COVID-19 testing clinic opening hours and locations, visit https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/how-to-protect-yourself-and-others/clinics. There are more than 300 COVID-19 testing locations across NSW.
Sewage testing for genetic material of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, started in July, adding another tool in the fight against the global pandemic. There is no evidence COVID-19 is transmitted via wastewater systems.