Northern NSW Local Health District chief executive Wayne Jones.
Northern NSW Local Health District chief executive Wayne Jones.

COVID-19 test rates less than ideal, according to health boss

HEALTH authorities would like to see the rate of COVID-19 testing in northern NSW double.

Northern NSW Local Health District chief executive Wayne Jones told ABC North Coast a mobile clinic being run in Byron Bay had only undertaken 30 tests for the virus this week.

Mr Jones said testing across the region broadly was about 50 per cent of the rate health authorities would like to see.

He recently said in a statement tests of untreated sewage at sewerage treatment plants within the health district found no detections of COVID-19.

There have been no confirmed cases in Northern NSW residents since July 25 and no detection of the virus in sewage samples since the week following July 27.

As well as being present in stools, viral fragments can enter the sewer when washed off hands and bodies through sinks and showers.

Usual sewage treatment processes inactivate, or kill, the COVID-19 virus, and sewage discharge to the environment is regulated by the NSW EPA.


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