More than 18,500 western Sydney residents are being urged to get tested for COVID-19 following the discovery of virus fragments in sewage at two local sewage pumping stations.
The area served by one of the pumping stations includes a population of around 5,860 residents of North Kellyville and Rouse Hill.
The second pumping station serves a population of around 12,650 people across the suburbs of Rouse Hill, Box Hill, The Ponds, Kellyville Ridge, Parklea, Quakers Hill and Acacia Gardens.
The virus fragments were detected through the state’s ongoing sewage surveillance program.
While detection of the virus in sewage samples could reflect the presence of older cases of COVID-19 diagnosed in these areas, 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 simply a cold.
People who live and/or work in these areas must be aware of any symptoms of illness, and immediately isolate and get tested should even the mildest of symptoms appear that might appear to be just be a cold. Symptoms such as a runny nose or scratchy throat, cough, tiredness, fever or other symptoms could be COVID-19.
After testing, you must remain in isolation until a negative result is received. The only way to find new cases and prevent further transmission is to increase testing.
A new Drive-Through Pop-Up Clinic has been established in The Fiddler car park, on the corner of Windsor and Commercial Roads in Rouse Hill.
No referral or booking is required at this clinic, which is open from 8am to 5pm seven days a week and can accommodate all age groups as well as those with special needs.
There are more than 300 COVID-19 testing locations across NSW. To find your nearest clinic visit https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/how-to-protect-yourself-and-others/clinics or contact your GP.
Sewage testing for genetic material of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, started in July, adding another tool in the fight against the global pandemic. There is no evidence COVID-19 is transmitted via wastewater systems.