Victoria has recorded no new local Covid-19 cases as the state’s residents begin the first weekend since the end of their third lockdown.
The result came as NSW Health revealed fragments of the virus that causes coronavirus had been detected at a sewage network site at Auburn in Sydney’s west.
In Victoria, there were no new local or overseas-acquired cases uncovered on Friday, with more than 17,700 tests conducted. Just 25 active cases remain in the state.
A positive case linked to Melbourne’s coronavirus outbreak had been transferred to the ICU. The patient, who is part of the Holiday Inn cluster, was in a stable condition, according to Victoria’s health department. The cluster now numbers 22.
A family of three on Thursday tested positive, more than a week after two of them stayed at the Holiday Inn at Melbourne airport.
The state’s health minister, Martin Foley, on Friday confirmed one of the parents and child stayed at the quarantine hotel after returning from overseas in early February.
The whole family began isolating at home on 7 February, after it was revealed a staff member at the hotel contracted the virus.
A total of 22 cases have been traced back to another family of three staying on the third floor of the Holiday Inn at the same time. They had contracted the highly infectious UK strain of the virus overseas.
Authorities believe the outbreak began when one of the family members used a nebuliser medical device that caused the virus to spread through the air.
Fears it would spread into the community led to a five-day “circuit-breaker” lockdown, which ended on Thursday.
New South Wales recorded no new locally acquired and one new overseas-acquired case of Covid-19 in the 24 hours to 8pm last night. There were 16,422 tests reported to 8pm last night, compared with the previous day’s total of 16,970.
NSW Health said everyone in the Auburn sewage catchment should monitor for symptoms, and if they appear get tested and isolate immediately until they receive a negative result.
This catchment takes sewage from the suburbs of Condell Park, Bankstown, Potts Hill, Birrong, Sefton, Bass Hill, Chester Hill, Regents Park, Chullora, Homebush West, Strathfield, Rookwood, Sydney Olympic Park, Newington, Granville, Clyde, Lidcombe, Auburn, South Granville, Guildford, Silverwater, Rosehill, Berala and Yagoona.
NSW Health is treating 22 Covid-19 cases, none of whom are in intensive care. Saturday marks 34 days with no locally acquired cases.
In Victoria, Austin Health, Monash Health and Western Health hospitals have been chosen to distribute the first doses of the Pfizer vaccine.
Foley said workers who were most likely to come into direct contact with people who could have coronavirus would be first in line for the jab.
This included hotel quarantine workers, airport and port workers, high-risk frontline health staff and aged care staff and residents.
The federal government has allocated 12,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine to Victoria in the first week of the program.
About 59,000 doses are expected in the first four weeks.
Six other hospitals will also become vaccination hubs as more jabs become available. They are Albury-Wodonga Health, Ballarat Health, Barwon Health, Bendigo Health, Goulburn Valley Health and Latrobe Health.
On Saturday Victoria’s chief health officer, Brett Sutton, said Victorians should remain vigilant due to “unexpected wastewater detections in recent days”.
“[From] 13-15 February, parts of Bayswater and other areas have had a detection,” he said. “Over 1-16 February, St Kilda East, Caulfield North, Caulfield, Balaclava and Elsternwick a detection and for Carrum Downs, Langwarrin and Skye, detections for a second consecutive day.
“There’s no obvious connection between the locations and known cases, so we ask anyone who lived in, or visited these areas, to be vigilant for the mildest of symptoms and get tested.”
• Australian Associated Press contributed to this report