COVID spike in Illawarra, concern in Young

Assistant Commissioner Joe Cassar has welcomed the arrival of ADF troops in the Illawarra.
Assistant Commissioner Joe Cassar has welcomed the arrival of ADF troops in the Illawarra.

Australian Defence Force soldiers have been deployed to help police enforce health orders in the Illawarra as COVID-19 cases there spike and concerns remain about the the town of Young in southern central NSW.

There were 46 cases recorded in the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District in the 24 hours until 8pm on Tuesday, joining 80 cases on the weekend and 17 on Monday.

The coastal area includes the state's third-largest city of Wollongong and 458 cases of the virus have been diagnosed in the district since June 16.

Southern Region Commander, Assistant Commissioner Joe Cassar, welcomed the arrival of troops in the Illawarra.

"Our officers and ADF personnel will be making daily visits and checking in on those who are self-isolating and making sure they're OK during lockdown," he said on Wednesday.

Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant also expressed concern about the town of Young, after traces of the virus were detected in sewage there, sparking speculation the town could be locked down.

"We've had sewage detections in Young and I can report today that we have identified a person who spent time while infectious in Wagga Wagga, Young and Mudgee," she said.

"We are seeking additional advice."

She asked people in those communities to be vigilant for symptoms and get tested.

"It is important that everyone in Young follows that public advice. There are a number of venues and other urgent testing is being undertaken," she said.

There are now 94 cases in the far west of the state after five new cases were recorded in Broken Hill and five in Wilcannia.

Of the 1259 locally acquired cases reported to 8pm on Tuesday: 82 are from Nepean Blue Mountains, 27 from Hunter New England, 11 from Central Coast, seven from the Southern Local Health District, six from Western NSW and two from Murrumbidgee Local Health District.

Fragments of the virus that causes COVID-19 have been detected at the Bermagui sewage treatment plant in southern NSW, the Glen Innes sewage treatment plant in Hunter New England district, the Wauchope sewage treatment plant in Mid North Coast LHD and the Trangie sewage treatment plant in Western NSW LHD.

Everyone in those areas is urged to monitor for symptoms and if they appear immediately get tested and isolate until a negative result is received.

Australian Associated Press