VIRAL fragments of COVID-19 have been detected in recent wastewater samples taken from Leongatha, prompting a warning for increased testing.

Initial testing of wastewater taken from the influent to the Leongatha wastewater treatment plant on January 19 showed a weak result which has now been confirmed with independent testing.

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) said the detection of viral fragments was unexpected given there had been no confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the Leongatha community at the time, but it can take several weeks for someone to stop shedding the virus.

Anyone who lives in or has visited the town from January 17 to 19, is urged to get tested if they have any symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), however mild.

Victoria’s wastewater surveillance program has now expanded to 95 sites which are regularly tested for early-warning of coronavirus (COVID-19) with testing also taking place at Inverloch and Korumburra.

Viral fragments have also been found in samples taken from Gisborne and Hamilton.

Viral fragments of COVID-19 have been detected in Leongatha’s wastewater.