People who live in, or have visited Hamilton from the 25th to the 27th of January and are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms (sore throat, cough, runny nose, shortness of breath, chills or sweats, fever and loss or change in sense of smell or taste) are being urged to get tested for COVID-19 after virus fragments were detected in Hamilton waste water samples.
Victoria introduced COVID-19 waste water testing last year, to get a better understanding of the occurrence of the virus and to help communities and health services spot and respond to potential outbreaks early.
These results are a reminder that we all need to remain vigilant and continue to perform COVID safe practices to protect ourselves and others.
There are a number of possible explanations for the detection of virus fragments in waste water samples. The fragments can be due to an active infectious case either in, or passing through the area. They can also be the result of someone who has recovered from COVID-19 continuing to ‘shed’ the virus.
The detection of virus fragments was unexpected given there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Hamilton at this time, but we know it can take several weeks for people to stop shedding the virus.
Increased surveillance of Hamilton’s waste water system will be put in place to help us to understand the measures needed to fight COVID-19 in our local area.
WDHS is encouraging the local community and visitors to come forward for testing at the Hamilton Base Hospital’s COVID-19 drive-thru clinic, even if they have the mildest of symptoms.