Traces of Covid Found but NO People Positive

20 0730 smiggins
Smiggin Holes at Perisher on July 25.

By Steve Cuff

THE NSW Health Department released their daily statistic report on the coronavirus today and Perisher was mentioned within the report.

But before everyone starts jumping to the wrong conclusions, the tests were conducted on the sewage system on July 22.

There have been NO POSITIVE cases of COVID-19 on any person at Perisher.

Part of the statement read that the test at the sewage system in Perisher, which is actually operated by the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), “returned a positive result for the presence of COVID-19.”

It is disappointing that some newspapers from outside the area want to use the headline, Perisher Covid-19 Hotspot, when in actual fact when you read the full report there is no mention of the word “hotspot”.

Yes part of the NSW Health statement also advises to be tested if you have any concerns, but that is their standard procedure.

“NSW Health is again asking all people who live in, or have visited, the following areas in the past two weeks to get tested if they have any symptoms of COVID-19 at all, even the mildest of symptoms such as a runny nose or scratchy throat:”

The snow resorts including Perisher have started the snow season and operated their respective businesses in exemplary fashion in regards to the Covid 19 situation adhering to all safety protocols.

Every area across NSW and Australia is under pressure to remain open so that businesses can survive. It is hard enough trying to provide accurate news when social media readers often glance at headlines and one or two lines and think they are well informed. So the sensationalism headline from a so called respected newspaper is very disappointing indeed.

Perisher Resort released a statement today.

“Perisher has been informed by New South Wales Health, that testing of the Perisher Valley Sewerage Treatment Plant last week indicated the presence of COVID-19. We understand from NSW Health that the positive sewage result can be due to shedding of the virus by someone who may have previously had the illness, with the virus ‘shedding’ through their system for up to four weeks later and that further sampling and analysis is required to assess the significance of this initial positive result.”

“As we have throughout this pandemic, we will continue to prioritise the health and safety of our employees, guests and communities. We have strict safety protocols in place which includes the wearing of face coverings by guests and staff, requiring physical distancing and encouraging good hygiene. We will continue to remain vigilant and will work closely with NSW Health and follow their guidance.”

You can read the full statement here on the NSW Health site, or see below.

NSW Health Media Release COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Statistics (July 30, 2020)

Eighteen new cases of COVID-19 were diagnosed in the 24 hours to 8.00pm last night, bringing the total number of cases in NSW to 3,547.

There were 27,147 tests reported in the 24-hour reporting period, compared with 18,543 in the previous 24 hours.

Confirmed cases (including interstate residents in NSW health care facilities) 3,547
Deaths (in NSW f​​rom confirmed cases) 51
Total tests carried out 1,436,834

Of the eighteen new cases:

    • two are linked to the funeral gatherings cluster
    • four are associated with the Thai Rock Wetherill Park cluster
    • four are associated with The Apollo restaurant in Potts Point
    • two are returned travellers in hotel quarantine
    • six are under investigation.

With the growing number of cases in the area, NSW Health is again asking all people who live in, or have visited, the following areas in the past two weeks to get tested if they have any symptoms of COVID-19 at all, even the mildest of symptoms such as a runny nose or scratchy throat:

Potts Point area
Carnes Hill shops
Prestons
Bonnyrigg
Wetherill Park
Mt Pritchard
Bankstown City Plaza
Cabramatta
Perisher

A case attended Frank’s Pizza Bar Restaurant in Camperdown on 26 July from 6pm to 8pm. People who were at this restaurant at the same time are advised to monitor for symptoms and immediately self-isolate and seek testing if they develop symptoms, however mild.

Three cases have now attended the Mounties at Mount Pritchard and new times have been identified. Anyone who attended the club from 6 pm Wednesday 22 July to 3am on Saturday 25 July must isolate and get tested regardless of symptoms, but stay isolated for a full 14 days even if they test negative. If symptoms develop, get tested again.

NSW Health can advise there have been several school and childcare closures today.

Fort Street High School will be non-operational due to a possible case of COVID-19. The person concerned is being tested and the results will be confirmed today. More information is available on NSW Education.

Everlearn Childcare Centre in Prestons will be closed today, after a possible case, a child who attended while they may have been infectious. Test results are pending. The childcare centre will be closed whilst contact tracing and deep cleaning is underway.

A student at Mary Immaculate Catholic Primary School in Bossley Park and a student at Freeman Catholic College in Bonnyrigg have tested positive for COVID-19. Both students have been in isolation since the weekend. Neither student has been in attendance since the sites underwent their deep clean. Additional contact tracing is underway.

There are now 89 cases associated with Thai Rock Wetherill Park, 57 cases associated with the Crossroads Hotel cluster, eight cases associated with Batemans Bay Soldiers Club, and 20 associated with the funerals. There are eleven cases associated with the Potts Point cluster.

This morning a new case has been reported in a prisoner in Parklea Correctional Centre. The case has been in isolation. Contact tracing and environmental cleaning is underway; and the inmate has been asymptomatic throughout.

NSW Health has recently started a research program to test sewage for traces of COVID-19 across the state. This research supports the public health response to the pandemic. Sampling has commenced at a number of metropolitan and regional locations across NSW. Initial samples collected at the Perisher sewage treatment plant on Wednesday 22 July 2020 returned a positive result for the presence of COVID-19. Further sampling and analysis is required to assess the significance of this initial positive result. The positive sewage result can be due to shedding of the virus by someone who may have previously had the illness, with the virus ‘shedding’ through their system for up to four weeks later.

While no cases of COVID-19 have been identified in Perisher or Thredbo to date, it’s important that anyone who was in this area get tested if they have even the mildest of symptoms.

Anyone feeling unwell – even with the mildest of symptoms such as a runny nose or scratchy throat – must seek testing and self-isolate until they get the result. Stay at home, and do not go to work or catch public transport until you are cleared of COVID-19.

A full list of COVID-19 testing clinics is available or people can visit their GP.

Anyone directed to undertake a 14-day self-isolation period must stay in isolation for the full period, even if they test negative. This is because early testing may not detect an infection, and release from self-isolation based on a negative test could allow an infectious person to infect others in the community. The self-isolation period is 14 days as most people who are infected and develop symptoms will develop symptoms within 14 days of infection.

There are 100 COVID-19 cases being treated by NSW Health. Five people in intensive care, with one being ventilated. Ninety per cent of cases are in non-acute, out-of-hospital care. In NSW, 2,800 people are known to have recovered from COVID-19.