Department detects strong positive in Colac wastewater, encourages testing

The Department of Health and Human Services says the source of coronavirus fragments in Colac’s wastewater is likely a person who has recently recovered from the virus and is not contagious.

But the department is urging people with symptoms to still get tested to protect community safety.

DHHS says a person who had previously tested positive to COVID-19 had moved back to Colac but was still shedding dead virus, after the detection of “strong” positive coronavirus fragments in Colac’s wastewater.

DHHS testing lead Jeroen Weimar urged people in Colac to get tested, with two separate wastewater samples testing positive to fragments.

Mr Weimar said it was an old COVID case and that there was no concern.

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“There’s been some excellent detective work by our colleagues at Barwon Health in the last 24 hours and we have identified somebody who has moved back into the area, who may still be shedding the virus and we believe they may be the cause of the recent detects we have seen,” he said.

“Nevertheless, what wastewater tells us is whether there are still traces of virus lingering in our community and it’s important that we are alert to those symptoms.

“We have no concern about that individual, and he’s been on our radar for a while, so we are very comfortable with their health status and we’re very pleased that they’re back home,” Mr Weimar said.

A previous sample of Colac’s wastewater from November 23 showed low levels of coronavirus fragments, while a sample from December 1 showed higher levels.

People can get tested at Colac Area Health’s COVID-19 clinic at Neighbourhood House tomorrow and Friday from 9am to 12.30pm and can call the clinic on 1800 512 424.


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