A second trace of COVID-19 has been found in the sewage in Cannonvale. Picture Laura Thomas
A second trace of COVID-19 has been found in the sewage in Cannonvale. Picture Laura Thomas

Second trace of COVID found in Whitsunday sewage

MORE traces of COVID-19 have been detected in sewage samples in the Whitsunday region.

Health Minister Steven Miles confirmed this morning there had been another positive result of COVID-19 found in the sewage in Cannonvale.

"It's nothing to be particularly concerned about," he said.

"It could be related to that positive result we saw last month."

Mr Miles said a temporary clinic would be set up in Airlie Beach again as a precaution.

Mackay Hospital and Health Service confirmed a walk-in clinic would re-open at the Airlie Beach lagoon on Friday.

It follows tests taken on August 7 and 31, and September 14, returning clear results.

"These surveillance tests are extremely sensitive and can pick up tiny pieces of the genetic material of the virus," the service confirmed. 

"The result does not necessarily mean there are active cases in the Airlie Beach (or) Cannonvale region."

It is unknown whether the positive detection comes from someone who was infectious and symptomatic and did not get tested, or someone infectious but was yet to develop symptoms.

It is understood it could also have come from a recovered COVID case shedding the dead virus

A testing clinic was set up at Port of Airlie after a COVID fragment was found in sewage in September.
A testing clinic was set up at Port of Airlie after a COVID fragment was found in sewage in September.

This is the second time a sample from the region has returned a positive result.

In early September, a positive sample was also found in the Cannonvale-Airlie Beach sewage treatment plant.

A follow-up test on the sewage in September returned a negative result.

Speaking in September, a Queensland Health spokesman said the previous positive result could have come from a person who tested positive for COVID-19 previously but was shedding the virus.

"People who have had COVID-19 can shed viral fragments and that shedding can happen for several weeks after the person is no longer infectious," he said.

The pilot sewage surveillance program is part of a wider response to COVID-19.

Sewage testing is also under way in other locations across the state including in Brisbane, Ipswich, Logan, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Hervey Bay, Mackay, Townsville and Cairns.


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