COVID-19 now detected in all Auckland city sample testing sites

COVID-19 has now been detected in wastewater in all Auckland city sample testing sites.

The Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR) has been testing wastewater samples weekly from a range of sites around New Zealand during the COVID-19 response.

The test results, for the week ending October 9, show COVID-19 has been detected at all city locations and 15 of the Auckland region's 23 testing sites.

The only areas to test negative were rural suburbs including: Wellsford, Warkworth, Waiuku, Snell's/ Algies, Kingseat, Kawakawa Bay and Clarks Beach. Waiheke Island wasn't tested.

Warkworth has also previously received a positive test result during the week ending September 18.

This comes after only nine out of 23 test sites returned positive results the week before.

ESR said when there are known cases of COVID-19 in the community it may increase the number of tests being undertaken, while, when the risk is considered to be lower, it may reduce the number of sites being sampled.

COVID-19 now detected in all Auckland city sample testing sites

"A positive detection in the wastewater indicates that at least one person has been shedding SARS-CoV-2 into the wastewater in the 24 hours before each sample was collected," ESR said.

"Just as a negative finding does not necessarily guarantee an absence of COVID-19 in the community, it should be noted that a positive finding does not necessarily mean that active COVID-19 infections are present in the community. 

"A positive detection in the wastewater could also be due to a case in a managed isolation facility and/or a non-infectious historical case or a non-infectious recently recovered case who is still shedding low levels of SARS-CoV-2."

The latest testing data was recently shared to social media where commenters were shocked by the results.

"WTF?! It’s astonishing we didn’t get put back up to level 4 today- counting my blessings!" one person wrote.

"Crikey! That is sobering. It really is right across Auckland," another said.