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Fragments of Sars-Cov-2, the virus that causes coronavirus, have also been detected in untreated wastewater samples collected in recent days from wastewater treatment plants at Colac, Gisborne, Kilmore and Shepparton where there are known residents with recent infections.

While the test results may not mean there are currently active cases of Covid-19 in these communities, the Department of Health and Human Services has increased testing with local health services and taken further wastewater samples.

People who have had coronavirus may shed the virus or virus fragments for several weeks on used tissues, off their hands and skin when washing, and in their stool, well beyond their infectious period.

The preliminary positive test result from Ararat is not expected, with no known recent cases of coronavirus (Covid-19) in the area. As with all wastewater testing, it may be because of someone local who is shedding the virus or from a visitor to the area.

While the other positive wastewater test results are in line with recent known cases of coronavirus (Covid-19), the most recent cases in the Colac and Gisborne areas, including New Gisborne, Macedon and Mt Macedon, are nearing the end of the typical shedding period.

Victoria this month increased its surveillance of wastewater. Samples are now taken from 42 wastewater treatment plants across Victoria with additional sites recently at Bacchus Marsh, Bairnsdale, Cowes, Gisborne, Hamilton, Horsham, Kilmore, Melton, Portland and Warrnambool.

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