More than 100,000 residents in Sydney are being warned to watch for symptoms of Covid-19 after fragments of the virus were detected in sewage systems in the city's west.
The state's ongoing Sewage Surveillance Program picked up the virus in the Camellia North and Camelia South pumping stations in Sydney’s western suburbs, NSW Health said on Friday.
"These catchments serve about 109,600 people and covers suburbs including Camellia, Harris Park, Granville, South Granville, Mays Hill, Merrylands, Merrylands West, North Parramatta, Parramatta, South Wentworthville, Westmead, Guildford West, Sydney Olympic Park, Newington, Holroyd, Clyde, Auburn, Old Guildford, Guildford, Silverwater, Rosehill, Rydalmere," the health department said.
However, as the department noted, a number of people in these catchment areas have recently been released from hotel quarantine after recovering from the virus.
"People who have recently recovered from Covid-19 may continue to shed virus fragments into the wastewater system for several weeks after they are no longer infectious," NSW Health said.
Nonetheless, officials are asking everyone in these suburbs to be "especially vigilant for any cold-like symptoms".
"If they appear, please immediately be tested and isolate until a negative result is received."
NSW premier concerned over 'random' spread of variant
NSW announced another new case on Friday, with a man in his 50s testing positive after "fleeting contact" with an infectious person at Bondi Junction Westfield shopping centre.
Exposure sites on Friday also expanded to venues in Redfern, Newtown, Campbelltown and North Sydney as masks become mandatory for the next five days for Greater Sydney.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian described the spread of the virus as "scary" during a press conference with media.
"Some people for some reason aren't contagious and some are extremely contagious. The randomness of that is what makes it scary," she said.
"We are recommending that if you go to an indoor [Sydney] venue you wear a mask, whether it is a cinema, hospitality or frontline hospitality workers," she said.
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