Warning for 36 new Sydney suburbs after concerning Covid find

Ash Cant
·2-min read

Residents in 36 Sydney suburbs have been warned to monitor for symptoms after authorities confirmed fragments of the virus that causes Covid-19 were found in two more sewage pumping stations.

NSW Health said on Tuesday the state’s ongoing sewage surveillance has identified two pumping stations in Camellia, in western Sydney, which have detected fragments of the virus.

The two pumping stations take in sewage from the suburb of Berala, where a new Covid cluster has emerged and the surrounding area.

A drive through Covid testing facility is seen at Auburn in Sydney, Saturday, January 2, 2021
People in more than 30 Sydney suburbs are being asked to monitor for Covid symptoms, after sewage testing found virus fragments. Source: AAP

Suburbs covered by the pumping stations:

  • Auburn

  • Bankstown

  • Bass Hill

  • Berala

  • Camellia

  • Chester Hill

  • Chullora

  • Clyde

  • Condell Park

  • Granville

  • Guildford

  • Guildford West

  • Harris Park

  • Holroyd

  • Homebush West

  • Lidcombe

  • Mays Hill

  • Merrylands

  • Merrylands West

  • Newington

  • North Paramatta

  • Old Guildford

  • Parramatta

  • Potts Hill

  • Regents Park

  • Rookwood

  • Rosehill

  • Rydalmere

  • Sefton

  • Silverwater

  • South Granville

  • South Wentworthville

  • Strathfield

  • Sydney Olympic Park

  • Westmead

  • Yagoona

Authorities urging people in at-risk suburbs to get tested

NSW Health authorities are urging people in those areas to monitor for Covid symptoms and get tested if any develop and isolate immediately.

A man and a woman are seen walking down a Sydney street wearing face masks. Source: AAP
A duo are seen walking down a Sydney street wearing face masks. Source: AAP

On Monday, 63 suburbs in Sydney’s in the Liverpool and Campbelltown local government areas were put on alert after fragments of the virus were detected at two sewage treatment plants.

“NSW Health is concerned there could be other active cases in the local community in people who have not been tested and who might incorrectly assume their symptoms are just a cold,” NSW Health said regarding the matter on Monday.

Transmission may have occurred at Woolworths

On Tuesday, NSW reported four new locally acquired Covid cases, three directly linked to the Berala cluster, the other a household contact of someone who visited the BWS bottle shop, which is linked to 15 cases.

In the 24 hour reporting period, some 26,391 people across NSW came forward for testing, Acting Premier John Barilaro said it was a "nice number" but needed to be at 30,000 or 40,000.

A General view of the BWS store at Berala in Sydney, Saturday, January 2, 2021
There are now 15 Covid cases confirmed to be linked to the BWS in Berala. Source: AAP

Health authorities have struggled to directly contact the thousands of people affected by broad alerts for the BWS and Woolworths at Berala.

They have been forced to use credit card and rewards card data as QR codes are not mandatory in shops.

Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant appealed to Berala residents to prompt family, friends and colleagues to be tested if they had visited the shops.

Health investigators are poring over CCTV from the shopping centre to establish whether transmission occurred in the Woolworths.

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