NSW daily cases rise again to 233 as concerns raised over Newcastle waste water detections

NSW daily cases rise again to 233 as concerns raised over Newcastle waste water detections

Photo: City of Newcastle

The spread of COVID-19 shows no signs of abating in NSW where 233 daily cases were reported this morning, while two people died of the virus yesterday including a Southwest Sydney man in his 20s and a woman in her 80s who passed away at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.

Fewer than half the new cases are linked to a known case or cluster, and an even lower number - 92 - were in isolation throughout their infectious period.

By NSW Health's definitions, 47 cases were infectious in the community, and the isolation status of 73 cases remains under investigation.

Both the Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant raised concerns about very high sewage rates in the Hunter-Newcastle area.

"The sewage detected high viral load, which suggests they could be undetected cases up around the Newcastle area, so we're really keen to have people come forward to get tested -  there will be a list of the drive-through places that people can go to," the Premier said.

Dr Chant noted the detections were found in the Shortland and Burwood Beach sewage treatment plants, as well as lower detections at the Belmont sewage treatment plant.

She called on people across all of the Newcastle and Lake Macquarie areas to monitor for symptoms, but particularly residents in Birmingham Gardens, Shortland, Maryland, Fletcher, Minmi, Cameron Park, Mayfield, Stockton and Fern Bay.

"It is critical that we can get those testing levels up to really understand as soon as possible whether there is any undiagnosed cases there so that we can make the best public health decisions," Dr Chant said.

"In terms of other sewage detections, we have had low levels of detection from the Coffs Harbour sewage treatment plant, and the Mudgee sewage treatment plant. Again, we want to see high rates of testing there."

Updated at 11:34am AEST on 4 August 2021.

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