Victorian authorities are analysing sewage for traces of COVID-19 at 50 wastewater treatment plants across the state.
The discovery comes after fragments were found in Portland, in Victoria’s south west, and Benalla in the north east. Both of those regional towns were clear of COVID-19 just last week and are located on major freight routes. As a result, Victoria has enacted a 48-hour hard border closure with South Australia to reduce the risk of community transmission.
South Australia currently has 22 active coronavirus cases linked to a hotel quarantine outbreak. More than 4000 people are in isolation. A hard lockdown in South Australia is due to end on Saturday night, three days earlier than originally planned, because authorities learned a COVID-positive workerat apizza shop lied to contact tracers.
South Australian authorities originally thought the man in question had contracted the virus after buying a pizza from the shop, leading to concerns about potential widespread community transmission. Instead, the worker was an employee at the store and was a close contact of somebody else who tested positive for the virus.
Earlier on Friday, Victoria recorded its 21st consecutive day of no new coronavirus cases. However local health authorities are investigating a weak positive test result. Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton says the weak positive is most likely a false positive or a historic infection.
The person in question – an asymptomatic woman in her 80s – had two additional tests on Friday and both returned negative results. The woman’s weak positive was detected on Thursday as part of pre-surgical screening. She has no identified links to known cases but her case will be reviewed by an expert panel.
Here is a list of COVID-19 test locations for residents in Melbourne’s south-west:
Drive through testing
- Wyndham City Council Civic Centre’s outdoor carpark, 45 Princes Highway, Werribee. Open Monday to Sunday, 9am to 5pm.
- ICP Health, Wootten Road Reserve, 25-51 Wootten Road, Tarneit. Open Saturday to Sunday, 10am to 4pm.