06 August 2021

Symptomatic people in Broome urged to get tested following unexpected wastewater result

The WA Department of Health is calling on people in the Broome township area to get tested if they have COVID-19 symptoms after the state’s wastewater surveillance program detected weak traces of the virus in Broome township.

This unexpected finding does not necessarily indicate there is a positive case in the community. However, people (regardless of age) with even the mildest of symptoms are asked to get tested as soon as possible as a precaution.

Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, shortness of breath, headache, and loss of smell or taste.

Once tested, people should return home and remain there until a negative test result is received.

COVID-19 testing in Broome is available at Broome Hospital, corner of Anne and Robinson streets. The clinic is open until 8pm tonight and from 8am-8pm on Saturday and Sunday.

The Department of Health asks people to be vigilant if they have symptoms and to get tested, but not to panic.

It remains completely safe to drink water from the tap and take showers as normal.

Finding traces of the virus in wastewater samples could mean there are active cases nearby; an active case has passed through the area recently; or that a historical case has recently been in the area - people can continue to shed the virus for several weeks after they recover from COVID-19, even when they are no longer infectious.

The Department of Health, Water Corporation, PathWest and the WA Country Health Service will continue to monitor the situation and wastewater results from the area and will act swiftly if further action is required.

This is a timely reminder that COVID-19 is real, and people should get vaccinated as soon as they are eligible, as well as sign in at all venues using the SafeWA app or paper register.

Media contact: 9222 4333