Covid fears after worrying detection for 17 suburbs

NSW Health has issued a warning after Covid-19 fragments were detected in sewage systems connected to 17 Sydney suburbs.

The department said on Wednesday, coronavirus fragments were found in sewage systems at Allambie Heights in Sydney’s north from a sample taken on Tuesday.

This is the second time Covid-19 fragments were detected in this system after they were also found on Thursday last week. More than 80,000 people use the system which services suburbs including Manly, Collaroy and Narrabeen.

A map shows Covid fragments detected in Sydney sewage catchments.
The red highlighted areas show where Covid-19 fragments were detected in sewage in Sydney. The top red area shows where the new alert applies. Source: NSW Health

“These positive sewage results may indicate the presence of people who have recently recovered from Covid-19, as they can continue to shed fragments of the virus for several weeks after recovery,” NSW Health said.

“However, NSW Health is concerned that they could signal undetected cases in the community, and asks people in these areas to be alert for any cold-like symptoms that could signal Covid‑19, including sore throat, runny nose, cough, fever, loss of taste or sense of smell, or headache.

“If symptoms appear, please isolate and get tested immediately, and remain isolated until a negative result is received.”

Sydney suburbs included in health alert

  • Allambie Heights

  • Balgowlah

  • Curl Curl

  • North Curl Curl

  • North Manly

  • Freshwater

  • Collaroy

  • Collaroy Plateau

  • Narrabeen

  • Wheeler Heights

  • Oxford Falls

  • Dee Why

  • Cromer

  • Beacon Hill

  • Narraweena

  • Brookvale

  • Frenchs Forest

Covid vaccination hub to be established in Sydney

Sydney is preparing to introduce a mass vaccination hub in the Olympic Park precinct on May 10.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian told reporters on Wednesday the sooner the population is vaccinated the better.

For its first two weeks, the mass hub in the specially fitted commercial building will be open to people in categories 1a and 1b before expanding to anyone older than 50 from May 24.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian addresses media during a school infrastructure announcement at Parramatta West Public School in Sydney.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian wants Sydneysiders to get the jab sooner rather than later. Source: AAP

The general practitioners' network in NSW will offer the AstraZeneca jab to anyone over 50 from May 17.

The premier emphasised that over-50s should try their GPs first before heading to the vaccination hub.

She warned that people over 50 who make an appointment with NSW Health from May 24 may have to wait "some weeks" before they actually get the jab.

"There are 2.9 million of us ... who are 50 or over in NSW, that's a lot of people," she said.

NSW would also help vaccinate aged care workers and disability workers after the federal government requested help, Ms Berejiklian said.

More than half a million people in NSW have been vaccinated, with NSW Health administering 198,492 doses by 8pm on Tuesday, and the Commonwealth taking care of 393,043.

with AAP

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