COVID-19 Fragments Detected in Maroubra Sewage as New Exposure Site List Grows

On the same day that the lockdown in Greater Sydney, the Central Coast, the Blue Mountains, Wollongong, and Shellharbour was announced, a public health alert was issued for residents of Maroubra, Auburn, Lough Park, St Marys, West Camden and Ireland Park after fragments of COVID-19 were detected in their sewage network.

The NSW Health said that locals in these areas should be “vigilant for any symptoms that could signal COVID” and self-isolate as soon as possible if they are exhibiting cough, runny nose, sore throat and fever. 

The Maroubra sewage network serves over 90,500 homes and establishments in the following Eastern Sydney suburbs, which have entered into a lockdown from 25 June to 9 July 2021, along with Greater Sydney: 

  • Bondi Junction
  • Bronte
  • Centennial Park
  • Clovelly
  • Coogee
  • Daceyville
  • Eastlakes
  • Kensington
  • Kingsford
  • Maroubra
  • Matraville
  • Moore Park
  • Paddington
  • Pagewood
  • Queens Park
  • Randwick
  • Rosebery
  • South Coogee
  • Waverley
  • Woollahra

In addition to the sewage detection, health officials have also expanded the list of COVID-19 exposure sites. 

Anyone who has been in these venues is considered a “close contact” and must get tested and isolate for 14 days regardless of their test results. 

Photo Credit: The Other Key/Pixabay

If their symptoms progress, they may call 1800 943 553 or any of these agencies for assistance:

  • Lifeline Australia 13 11 14
  • Kids Helpline 1800 551 800
  • NSW Mental Health Line 1800 011 511

Sydneysiders are also urged to regularly check NSW Health for succeeding alerts and updates. 

Drones to Monitor Maroubra Beach this Summer for COVID-19 Safety

The Randwick City Council has endorsed a $1.2 million plan to have drones monitor the crowds and ensure physical distancing at Maroubra beach and other popular beaches in eastern Sydney this summer

Four devices will be purchased and used by 1 Dec 2020, which will provide beachgoers with real-time details about the crowd capacity. Similarly, there are also steps to hire about 12 COVID marshalls who will look after the crowd and facilitate social distancing.

Additional toilet facilities will also be provided at the Maroubra beach to lessen the lines and avoid a convergence, which can help limit the spread of the virus. The beaches in Clovelly, Coogee, Frenchmans Bay, La Perouse and Yarra Bay will also have more temporary toilet installations.

“COVID marshals will be out and about providing a prominent visual reminder of the need to social distance and I encourage people to follow their advice for everyone’s health and wellbeing,”  Randwick City Mayor Danny Said in a press release, whilst acknowledging that access to beaches is vital to a person’s mental and physical wellbeing.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

“Additional technology such as live beach cameras will give people real-time information to view crowd numbers at the beach before leaving home. We’ll also be publishing daily updates on crowd capacity at popular beaches to help people make informed decisions as to when to visit the beach.”

Randwick City Council has live cameras around the beaches so locals may check the crowd before planning a trip. The mayor also reiterated the need to wear masks while heading to the beach. Swimmers are also encouraged to avoid visiting during peak hours or leave the site after they’re done swimming. 

“These simple steps will help Lifeguards and Life Savers keep our beaches open so that people can safely enjoy them this summer,” the mayor added.