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Latest wastewater testing detects COVID-19 in 28 sites

04 November 2021

Wastewater surveillance
Wastewater Covid Testing Container Esr
Wastewater Covid Testing Container Esr

ESR's most recent report of the results of wastewater samples taken from 106 has detected the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in 28 sites around New Zealand.

The most recent dashboard, which is published weekly, highlights the results of samples taken from sites around New Zealand from Sunday 24 October to Saturday 30 October.

A positive detection in the wastewater indicates that at least one person has been shedding SARS-CoV-2 into the wastewater in the 24 hours before each sample was collected. Just as a negative finding does not necessarily guarantee an absence of COVID-19 in the community, a positive finding does not necessarily mean that active COVID-19 infections are present in the community. A positive detection in the wastewater could also be due to a case in a managed isolation facility and/or a non-infectious historical case or a non-infectious recently recovered case who is still shedding low levels of SARS-CoV-2.

ESR undertakes testing of wastewater throughout New Zealand on behalf of the Ministry for Health for the presence of SARS CoV-2, the virus which causes COVID-19.

The results of ESR’s testing play an important part of New Zealand’s response to COVID-19, along with community testing and genome sequencing. This early warning can lead to increased local vigilance and clinical testing and allow health authorities to target public health advice to prevent transmission.