Urgent alert for more than 120,000 residents living across 11 Melbourne suburbs


Urgent alert for more than 120,000 residents living across 11 Melbourne suburbs after coronavirus fragments are found in sewage water – despite the state recording no new Covid-19 cases on Saturday

  • Covid-19 fragments have been detected in outer-west Melbourne wastewater 
  • Residents in 11 suburbs are told to get tested urgently if they have symptoms
  • Victoria has 15 recorded active cases of coronavirus, 11 are community cases

More than 120,000 residents living across eleven Melbourne suburbs have been urged to watch for symptoms after Covid-19 fragments were found in sewage water.

The affected suburbs are Taylors Hill, Plumpton, Hillside, Sydenham, Delahey, Caroline Springs, Burnside Heights, Kings Park, Albanvale, Burnside and Deer Park. 

Victorian Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton issued the warning to locals and visitors to the outer-west of Melbourne after the viral fragment was detected in a sample on February 22.

Covid-19 has been detected in wastewater in 11 Melbourne suburbs, and residents are urged to get tested immediately. Pictured: Samples being taken from a sewer in Melbourne, May 2020

Mr Sutton has asked anyone who was in 11 suburbs from Feb 20 to 22 with symptoms to come forward for a test. Pictured: Melbourne commuters wear masks in July, 2020

Mr Sutton has asked anyone who was in 11 suburbs from Feb 20 to 22 with symptoms to come forward for a test. Pictured: Melbourne commuters wear masks in July, 2020

Mr Sutton has asked anyone who was in those suburbs from February 20 to February 22 with symptoms to come forward for a test.

‘Fragments of the virus detected in wastewater may be due to a person with COVID-19 being in the early active infectious phase,’ he said.

‘Or it could be because someone is continuing to shed the virus after the early infectious period.’ 

There are 15 cases in Victoria, but the state recorded no new positives on Saturday despite 10,000 tests being taken. 

Four of the active cases are from hotel quarantine and eleven are community cases.

The vaccine rollout has started in the state, with 3612 doses being administered so far.

Premier Daniel Andrews also eased restrictions in Victoria on Friday, with 30 people now allowed in a home setting and 100 can gather outdoors. 

Victoria's Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton (pictured on February 20) is asking locals and visitors to the outer west of Melbourne with even the mildest symptoms to get tested urgently

Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton (pictured on February 20) is asking locals and visitors to the outer west of Melbourne with even the mildest symptoms to get tested urgently

There are 15 cases in Victoria, but the state recorded no new positives on Saturday despite 10,000 tests being taken. Pictured: Sewer samples in Melbourne

There are 15 cases in Victoria, but the state recorded no new positives on Saturday despite 10,000 tests being taken. Pictured: Sewer samples in Melbourne

Mr Andrews also announced both public and private offices can return to 75 per cent capacity – the first time since the pandemic began.

Restrictions for aged care homes and hospitals have been removed meanwhile crowds at the MCG and Marvel Stadium can return to 50 per cent capacity. 

The rules surrounding masks in schools will remain, the premier said. 

Mr Andrews said while the ‘circuit breaker strategy’ clearly worked, the possibility of future snap lockdowns wouldn’t be ruled out. 

AFFECTED MELBOURNE SUBURBS 

Anyone who lives in or has visited these outer-western Melbourne suburbs from February 20-22 is being urged to get tested immediately if they have any Covid symptoms

Taylors Hill

Plumpton

Hillside

Sydenham

Delahey

Caroline Springs

Burnside Heights

Kings Park

Albanvale

Burnside 

Deer Park

Victoria eased a string of restrictions from midnight on Saturday after the state emerged from a five-day Covid-19 lockdown

Victoria eased a string of restrictions from midnight on Saturday after the state emerged from a five-day Covid-19 lockdown 

‘I’ve said this a lot, but I’m going to say it again because it’s important. We all want this to be over desperately, but it’s not. And we can’t pretend that it is,’ he said. 

The announcement comes two weeks after the Holiday Inn cluster which sparked 22 infections including hotel staff, those quarantining and close contacts.

The two new cases recorded on Friday were both in quarantine at the time and health authorities say there is no risk to the community.   

RESTRICTIONS LIFTED IN VICTORIA 

Coming into effect from midnight on Friday, a string of coronavirus restrictions will be lifted in Victoria

– Masks will only be mandatory in shopping centres, supermarkets, aged care facilities, taxis and rideshare vehicles and on public transport

– Victorians can have 30 people gather together at their houses

– Public gatherings will also be increased to 100 people

– Offices will be able to return to 75 per cent capacity

– There will be no restrictions to aged care facilities or hospitals 

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