Covid update: Virus found in Hunter sewage

Filed in Just In by August 4, 2021
THE Hunter has been put on alert after high levels of Covid-19 were found in three Newcastle sewage treatment plants.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said sewage detection suggests there could be unidentified cases “up and around the Newcastle area.”
“Concerningly, there were very high rates of virus detected in the sewage in the Hunter Newcastle area,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“The sewage detected high viral load, which suggests there could be undetected cases up around the Newcastle area,” she said.
The virus was found in sewage treatment plants at Burwood Beach, Shortland and Belmont, which serve more than 400,000 residents who have now been advised to look out for symptoms and get tested.
Dr Kerry Chant said testing levels will play a critical role in identifying undiagnosed cases in the Hunter.
“These sewage treatment plants serve a number of areas and we will put those on the website, but in particular we want to call out for all of Newcastle and Lake Macquarie,” Dr Chant said.

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

New South Wales recorded 233 new local cases up to 8pm last night, with 47 people infectious in the community and 130 cases still under investigation.
Sadly, two more people who were confirmed Covid-19 cases died yesterday.

A woman in her 80s from Sydney’s inner west who died at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and a man in his 20s from south-west Sydney who died at his home.

The young man was a confirmed Covid-19 case and was being checked daily by staff from the South-Western Sydney Local Health District while isolating at his home.

Dr Kerry Chant said the man had no underlying conditions and “suddenly deteriorated.”

“We are aware that with Covid-19 you can get sudden deaths and I think that is important to understand that your health status can deteriorate and you can have sudden death with Covid-19,” Dr Chant said.

His death has been referred to the New South Wales Coroner.

Covid-19 case breakdown


  • 233  new locally acquired cases;
  • 103 are linked to a known case or cluster;
  • 79 are household contacts;
  • 24 are close contacts;
  • 130 cases remain under investigation;
  • 92 cases were in isolation throughout their infectious period;
  • 21 cases were in isolation for part of their infectious period;
  • 47 cases were infectious in the community;
  • 73 cases are under investigation for their isolation status.


  • 286 cases have been admitted to hospital;
  • 53 people are in the Intensive Care Unit;
  • Of the 53 cases in ICU, 5 people are aged in their 20s, 6 are in their 30s, 3 are in their 40s, 18 are in their 50s, 11 are in their 60s and 10 are in their 70s;
  • 23 people require ventilation.


  • NSW Health administered 25,470 vaccines during the last 24 hours;
  • 4,053,592, total vaccines have been administered in NSW since February.

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