Local cases up to 11, new wastewater positive

September 18, 2021 BY

Dirty work: A new wastewater detection of COVID-19 has local health authorities concerned there could be more unknown cases of the virus in the city. Photo: FILE

TWO more COVID-19 positive people have been detected in Ballarat in the last twenty-four hours, but they are linked to known cases.

The announcement of the detections came during a daily briefing conducted by Ballarat Health Services this afternoon.

While there were no new Ballarat exposure events added to the Department of Health and Human Services website overnight, there has been a new positive wastewater test – this time from the Ballarat north treatment site.

It is believed the detection was made in the last 24 hours and relates to wastewater tested on Friday. None of the currently known local COVID-19 cases live in the Ballarat north catchment zone.

“This is the first time during this during this particular period we’ve had a wastewater detection,” said medical director of the Grampians Public Health Unit, Associate Professor Rosemary Aldrich.

“It will be subject to the usual confirmatory processes, but what we’ve learned from wastewater detection in the south Ballarat catchment is that is was followed by a us detecting cases.”

Wastewater sent to the Ballarat north treatment facility comes from communities including Wendouree, Ballarat North, Miners Rest, Learmonth and Creswick.

Even though there’s just two new cases and no further exposures sites, authorities acknowledged there’s also no firm exit time from the city’s lockdown.

“We won’t get out of lockdown until it’s safe to do so,” said acting head of BHS Melanie Robertson.

“We urge the public to not wait for notification via a text message or phone call, we know the contract tracing system is under significant pressure.

“If you know that you’ve been to an exposure site at the date and time listed on the government website, please go ahead and get tested.”

With authorities saying testing is the only way out of the current lockdown, they urged people to take advantage of short current waiting times at Ballarat testing sites.

BHS health authorities also asked people to note there’s no Pfizer walk in jabs available at city’s vaccination hub after a nation media outlet said there were.

See our everything you need to know page for more info on the city’s current COVID-19 situation.

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