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  • An urgent alert has been issued to another three suburbs in Melbourne’s west after fragments of COVID-19 were discovered at the Werribee wastewater treatment plant
  • The warning was sent on Monday evening by the Department of Health and Human Services to those in Tarneit, Werribee and Hoppers Crossing
  • Residents and recent visitors to these areas are encouraged to get tested, even if only the mildest symptoms have developed
  • The latest discovery follows other virus fragments that were detected at the Lilydale treatment plant in Melbourne’s outer east on February 25
  • Wastewater samples are taken from more than 130 sites, including the large Melbourne eastern and western wastewater treatment plants

An urgent alert has been issued to another three suburbs in Melbourne’s west after fragments of COVID-19 were discovered at the Werribee wastewater treatment plant.

The warning was sent on Monday evening by the Department of Health and Human Services to residents in Tarneit, Werribee and Hoppers Crossing, who are being encouraged to get tested even if only mild symptoms of infection occur.

“Viral fragments were found in a wastewater sample collected on 25 February, with no known people in the area who have recently had COVID-19,” the department said.

“Independent testing confirmed the result this afternoon.”

The latest discovery follows other virus fragments that were detected at the Lilydale treatment plant in Melbourne’s outer east on February 25.

The catchment includes Taylors Hill, Plumpton, Hillside, Sydenham, Delahey, Caroline Springs, Burnside Heights, Kings Park, Albanvale, Burnside and Deer Park, with anyone who has symptoms and has been in these suburbs from February 20 to 22 urged to get tested.

Wastewater samples are taken from more than 130 sites, including the large Melbourne eastern and western wastewater treatment plants, regional wastewater treatment plants and locations throughout the metropolitan sewerage system.

“Fragments of the virus detected in wastewater may be due to a person with COVID-19 being in the early active infectious phase or it could be because someone is continuing to shed the virus after the early infectious period,” the department added.

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