COVID-19 has been detected in the wastewater of more than two dozen Melbourne suburbs, despite the state recording no locally acquired cases in almost two months.
Victoria’s health department sent out an updated alert on Tuesday night which outlined 31 new suburbs of concern in Melbourne’s north and east.
Residents in Melbourne’s northern and eastern suburbs have been urged to get tested if they have any symptoms of the illness.
Victoria’s chief health officer Brett Sutton on Wednesday said the wastewater samples could be due to a positive case being in the early active infectious phase or because someone is continuing to shed the virus after the early infectious period.
“While it is possible that these detections are due to a visitor or visitors to these areas who are not infectious, a cautious approach is being taken,” Professor Sutton said.
“People who live in or have visited (those) areas should monitor for COVID-19 symptoms and get tested if any develop.”
The new suburbs in Melbourne’s north include Ascot Vale, Brunswick, Brunswick West, Coburg, Essendon, Essendon Fields, Flemington, Kensington, Moonee Ponds, North Melbourne, Parkville, Pascoe Vale, Pascoe Vale South, Strathmore and Travancore.
In the east, residents or those who visited Bayswater, Bayswater North, Boronia, Croydon, Croydon North, Croydon South, Heathmont, Kilsyth, Kilsyth South, Montrose, Ringwood, Ringwood East, Sassafras, The Basin, Tremont and Wantirna have been urged to get tested.
It follows the detection of COVID-19 in Melbourne’s outer east, south and west in recent weeks.
Meanwhile the state has recorded no new cases of the virus, reaching its 53rd day without a locally acquired case.
The state did report one new case in hotel quarantine overnight, adding to the 13 other cases reported within the scheme since the state reopened to international travel this month.
Three major COVID-19 vaccination centres will open this morning for frontline workers and anybody over 70.
Victorians who are eligible under phases 1A and 1B of the rollout will be able to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine.
They’re located at the Royal Exhibition Building, the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, and the former Ford factory in Geelong.