Toowoomba Regional Council (TRC) has revealed it will soon be participating in the Queensland Government’s Wastewater Surveillance Program, to help monitor potential COVID-19 cases in the area.
As part of the program, TRC Mayor, Paul Antonio, said Queensland Health was conducting a state-wide program of disease surveillance for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
“At this point in time there is no suggestion there are any issues within our community, however, Queensland Health wants to do everything it can to find out more about this virus and we’re happy to provide assistance however possible,” Mayor Antonio said.
“To do this, Council staff will take regular weekly samples so testing can be undertaken. Our staff will then liaise with Queensland Alliance for Environmental Health Sciences at University of Queensland to facilitate the program.”
To gain further knowledge, more than 50 wastewater treatment facilities in metropolitan and regional Queensland will be tested for the virus.
This type of testing also assists health professionals understand more about any new variants of the virus.
The monitoring of wastewater is a vital tool for monitoring COVID-19 in communities when disease transmission is too low to be identified from clinical testing.
In other states, wastewater surveillance has provided early warnings of unknown cases in the community.
The program is expected to run until at least 30 June 2022.