South Australian health authorities say a positive COVID-19 result in wastewater from Adelaide’s CBD is either from an undetected case in the community or shedding from an old infection.

Key points:

  • Coronavirus was detected in wastewater from Adelaide’s CBD again overnight
  • SA Health says it is either from an undetected case or an old case
  • It is urging anyone who has been to the CBD and has symptoms to get tested

Deputy Chief Public Health Officer Emily Kirkpatrick said further testing had ruled out that the result was not a mistake and it did not come from a returned traveller or a medi-hotel worker.

SA Health first reported on Sunday that it had detected coronavirus in sewage from the north-eastern portion of Adelaide’s CBD, where the majority of Adelaide Fringe festival events are held.

Tests since then have continued to show a positive result.

Dr Emily Kirkpatrick says the wastewater result is the highest since the Parafield cluster.(

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Dr Kirkpatrick said the results were definitely correct.

“We are seeing in the wastewater and again, concerns last night on repeat testing done at Bolivar, we are still continuing to see that positive result come through, which is concerning for SA Health.”

The area north of Pirie Street where the wastewater comes from includes medi-hotels for return overseas travellers, but not the Tom’s Court Hotel where positive cases are taken.

About 12,000 people live or work in the area.

Health authorities have detected COVID–19 in wastewater at the Bolivar sewage plant.(

File: SA Water


Highest test reading in months

Dr Kirkpatrick said the level of coronavirus found in the sewage was as high as seen during November’s Parafield cluster.

“We haven’t seen these levels since the Parafield cluster and we’ve had a number of individuals within our medi-hotels in January and February and we haven’t seen this same detection, so it is very concerning,” she said.

No community cases were detected following positive test results in wastewater from Bolivar and Angaston in September.

SA Health is urging anyone who has been out in the city to get tested if they have even mild symptoms.

Two people in a medi-hotel — a teenage girl and a man in his 60s — returned positive results yesterday, the first cases in hotel quarantine in Adelaide in a week.