Two new ‘likely positive cases’ of COVID-19 have been made known to the Department of Health this morning, after traces were detected in wastewater around Epping and Wollert.

“It’s currently understood the two individuals are connected,” the department tweeted.

“A full investigation is underway into these results and initial public health actions are being put in place while both individuals isolate and are urgently retested.”

The department said waste water tracing ‘regularly’ detects COVID-19, as people leave hotel quarantine cleared of the virus and noninfectious, but may be “shedding” the virus. But it is also possible the traces are due to an active but undiagnosed infectious case.

On Friday it said this detection was of note because there are public exposure sites in the area relating to the Wollert case from earlier this month, who had been isolating outside the catchment.

“When there is a detection like this, it is necessary to go back and re-investigate,” the department said in a statement.

This comes after the department announced an exposure site was incorrectly listed relating to the Wollert case.

On Friday Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton issued an alert to Epping residents of an emerging ‘situation’.

“Well, it really was that the information we got at the time was that the Woolworths was Woolworths Epping, that’s what was captured at that time. We’ve had this wastewater detection so we’ve gone back and reinterviewed people in relation to it and it’s come out that it’s actually the Woolworths Epping North site,” he said on ABC Radio Melbourne.

Investigations revealed the individual shopped at the Woolworths Epping North supermarket, corner Epping Road and Lyndarum Drive (2 Lyndarum Drive), from 5.40pm to 6.38pm on Saturday 8 May. 

The original exposure site was Woolworths Epping, corner of Cooper and High Streets, Epping, on 8 May – a location which is adjacent to other exposure sites. This was an error.

Residents are now being urged to get tested if they feel unwell, before full details are confirmed.

“We will communicate any specific public health actions the community needs to undertake as soon as possible when investigations and case interviews are complete,” the department’s media statement read.

1 COMMENT

  1. Realistically, we are going to see these small, localised outbreaks for another few years. Mass vaccination is the answer even if it means ongoing annual vaccinations which many of us already get for the flu & pneumonia.

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