Queensland health authorities are keeping a close eye on Townsville after concerning traces of COVID-19 were detected in local sewage.

Testing of wastewater turned up small amounts of coronavirus for the first time on Saturday, with authorities saying it was worrying.

Townsville Hospital and health officials ramped up testing rates in a bid to work out if there were any COVID-19 cases in and around the northern city.

Deputy Premier Steven Miles said health officials had tested more than 100 people there over the weekend.

“We’d like to see more people get tested (and) continue to urge people in Townsville to go and get tested,” he told reporters on Sunday.

“We will continue to test the wastewater and hopefully we get a negative result and it’s all clear.”

Mr Miles said it had been more than 160 days since Townsville had recorded a community-transmitted case of coronavirus.


He said it was possible the positive sewage result was from someone shedding inactive virus after they had recovered.

Or it could be someone with an old infection who had passed through the city.

Queensland recorded no new coronavirus cases in the 24 hours to Sunday morning, with health officials completing more than 2400 tests across the state.

Four cases remain active, with just three new cases recorded in the past fortnight.


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