NSW Health is urging people in 39 suburbs to get tested for Covid-19 after traces of the virus were found in a Sydney water treatment plant.
The state reported no new cases of coronavirus on Tuesday taking the streak of no community transmission to nine days in a row.
But the health department is concerned after fragments of the highly contagious virus were found in the water treatment plant at Liverpool in Sydney’s west.
“The Liverpool waste treatment plant takes in a catchment of close to 180,000 people,” the department said.
Authorities have issued a warning regarding the 39 suburbs covered by the plant.
“NSW Health urges everyone living or working in these suburbs to monitor for symptoms and get tested and isolate immediately if they appear.”
Suburbs covered by Liverpool water treatment plant
Len Waters Estate
Authorities concerned by low Covid testing rates
The health department is also concerned about low testing rates. Only 7,819 were conducted in the past 24 hours which NSW Health said “is a concern”.
“Although NSW has had nine days without a diagnosed locally acquired case of Covid-19, the virus may still be circulating in the community and now is not the time to drop our guard,” it said.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian told reporters on Monday she was concerned about people not adhering to social distancing rules on Australia Day.
“The health orders are there to keep everybody safe, and I ask everybody to respect those public health orders. The police will be there to make sure those health orders will be reserved,” she told reporters.
“If you break the rules, if you don’t respect the health orders, there are penalties in place. I don’t want to see that happen, I have faith and confidence that cool heads will prevail.
“I appreciate the strength of feeling in the community about those matters, but everybody has to respect the health orders.”
Thousands are expected to pack the streets protesting Australia Day despite Covid-19 public health orders limiting outdoor gatherings to 500 people.
Do you have a story tip? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.