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Perth wastewater testing expands in wake of community COVID-19 cases

Perth wastewater testing expands in wake of community COVID-19 cases

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Health authorities will expand Perth’s COVID-19 wastewater testing program following the recent community spread of the virus.

The new sampling locations including Canning Vale and Kardinya were selected based on the movements of the infectious cases from the recent Mercure and Pan Pacific quarantine hotel clusters.

Wastewater testing is used all over the world to check for the presence of coronavirus and other diseases.

Wastewater testing is used all over the world to check for the presence of coronavirus and other diseases.Credit:AP

Seven sample sites have so far come back negative.

Wastewater testing has been in place since November at six of Perth’s treatment plants – Subiaco, Woodman Point, Alkimos, Beenyup, Gordon Road and Point Peron.

It is hoped the testing will be another line of defence in detecting any outbreak lurking in the community.

To date, the only positive results have come from the Subiaco station, which handles waste from Perth’s quarantine hotels.

Health Minister Roger Cook said the addition of the extra sites would give further insight into whether COVID-19 was present in the community.

“The early results from the new locations are encouraging but wastewater testing is not a

substitute for COVID-19 testing or for getting vaccinated when you are eligible,” he said.

The Department of Health reported no new cases of COVID-19 in WA overnight, with 18 active cases being monitored.

A man in his 30s who recently returned from India and tested positive for COVID-19 is in a stable condition in the Fiona Stanley Hospital ICU after being transferred from hotel quarantine on Saturday.

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