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22 June 2022
A new Omicron strain has been identified at wastewater treatment plants in the Wimmera.
Grampians Health has reminded people to continue protecting themselves after the Omicron strains BA.4-BA.5 were identified in the Wimmera and Yarriambiack catchment areas.
Chief strategies and regions officer Rob Grenfell said the increase in wastewater detections indicated the new strains were also prevalent at a higher rate within the community.
Detections of the strain in Melbourne and regional catchments have increased to 12 percent – from four percent a month ago.
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Dr Grenfell urged anyone eligible for their third or fourth dose of a COVID-19 vaccination to get it as soon as possible. Eligible groups can receive a fourth dose at least three months after their third dose.
Grampians Health and Lister House vaccination clinics remain open, or bookings are available at pharmacies.
“We can keep each other safe by staying up to date with vaccinations, isolating for the full seven days if we are COVID-positive and staying home if we are unwell,” Dr Grenfell said.
“As winter is here, it’s important we keep doing all the simple things that keep us safe.
“It will keep the pressure off our local hospitals and health workers, who are already stretched, and help those in our community who are more at risk of serious illness or death if they do get COVID.”
Dr Grenfell said face masks were strongly recommended in shared indoor settings, if people could not physically distance, or they are more vulnerable to COVID-19. Masks are still required in some settings including public transport, taxis and in settings such as hospitals.
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