Urgent alert for thousands of regional Victorians as Covid is found in wastewater


Urgent alert for thousands of regional Victorians as Covid is found in wastewater – despite their being NO positive cases in the area

  • Viral fragments of Covid recently discovered in sewerage in regional Victoria
  • Victorian Department of Health ‘puzzled’ by development, with no positive cases
  • The state wide lockdown in Victoria will finally end at 11.59pm on Thursday 

Residents in regional Victoria are on edge after viral fragments of Covid were uncovered in wastewater.

An urgent alert was issued by the Victorian Department of Health – despite no positive cases in the area.

Thousands of residents and recent guests in California Gully, Eaglehawk, Epsom, Jackass Flat, Maiden Gully, Marong, North Bendigo and Sailors Gully should get tested if they develop symptoms.

The Victorian Department of Health were said to be puzzled by the fragments in local sewerage, given the area had zero confirmed Covid cases.

Thousands of residents in regional Victorian suburbs including California Gully, Eaglehawk, Epsom, Jackass Flat, Marong and North Bendigo should get tested if they develop symptoms (pictured health workers conducting Covid tests in Melbourne)

Thousands of residents in regional Victorian suburbs including California Gully, Eaglehawk, Epsom, Jackass Flat, Marong and North Bendigo should get tested if they develop symptoms (pictured health workers conducting Covid tests in Melbourne)

The Victorian Department of Health were said to be puzzled at the fragment detection in local sewerage, given the area had zero confirmed Covid cases (stock image)

The Victorian Department of Health were said to be puzzled at the fragment detection in local sewerage, given the area had zero confirmed Covid cases (stock image)

The Victorian Department of Health were said to be puzzled at the fragment detection in local sewerage, given the area had zero confirmed Covid cases (stock image)

Melbourne's circuit breaker lockdown is set to finally end at 11.59pm on Thursday, June 10 (pictured a man wearing a faced mask walking through a park in Melbourne's inner city)

Melbourne's circuit breaker lockdown is set to finally end at 11.59pm on Thursday, June 10 (pictured a man wearing a faced mask walking through a park in Melbourne's inner city)

Melbourne’s circuit breaker lockdown is set to finally end at 11.59pm on Thursday, June 10 (pictured a man wearing a faced mask walking through a park in Melbourne’s inner city)

‘While the unexpected detections may be due to someone who has had Covid-19 that is no longer infectious continuing to shed the virus, it may be due to an active but undiagnosed infectious case,’ it said. 

‘The wastewater testing program is designed as an early warning system and a cautious approach is always taken when these detections are found.’  

Victoria recorded four new local cases of Covid-19 on Thursday morning.

The health department confirmed the quartet of locally acquired cases are from the same household, with ‘investigations into the acquisition source underway’.

Melbourne’s two weeks of ‘circuit breaker’ lockdown is also set to finally end at 11.59pm on Thursday night.

Cafes, shops and schools will reopen on Friday, but gyms and nightclubs will remain closed.

The controversial movement restriction for Melbourne residents will be extended from 5km to 25km, and face masks will be mandatory in workplaces.

Acting Premier James Merlino said the measure was in place to keep Melbourne residents out of regional areas over the upcoming Queen’s Birthday long weekend.

NEW RULES FOR MELBOURNE AND VICTORIA FROM FRIDAY, JUNE 11

Melbourne

What you can do:

Travel 25km from your house

Have an outdoor gathering with up to 10 people

Go to school for face-to-face learning

Not wear masks indoors

Go to a funeral with maximum 50 people and weddings at 10

Go to restaurants and cafes to reopen, with a maximum 100 people outside and 50 people inside

Go to retail shops, with a one person per four square metre density limit

Get your hair done with a mask on

Play community sport with 50 people outdoors

What you can’t do 

Have a party, stand at bars, go to a nightclub or concert

Have any guests round to your house

Go to the gym

Travel further than 25km from your home unless in exceptional circumstances

Regional Victoria – already subject to the above rules, but with extra easing

Visit another home, with a cap of two adults per household

Gather in pubic with up to 20 people

Go to a restaurant or cafes with up to 150 people seated outdoors or 75 indoors

Attend a religious ceremony, with a cap of 150 people outdoors or 75 indoors

Attend a funerals with a cap of 75 and weddings with a maximum of 20

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