Residents in regional areas across Queensland are being urged to get tested for COVID-19 after fragments of the virus were found in wastewater.

Routine testing at sewage treatment plants in Cairns, Warwick, Stanthorpe and Loganholme uncovered the positive results.

The tests took place on December 29 and 30.

Queensland chief health officer Jeannette Young said the results were concerning given the coronavirus outbreaks in NSW and Victoria.

"A positive sewage result means that someone who has been infected was shedding the virus," she said on Tuesday.

"Infected people can shed viral fragments and that shedding can happen for several weeks after the person is no longer infectious."

Dr Young said while it didn't necessarily mean COVID-19 was present in these communities, anyone with symptoms should get tested as a matter of caution.

"In particular, if you have been to Victoria or hot spots in NSW, please come forward and get tested regardless of whether or not you have symptoms," she said.

"If there is a case in the community, it is critical we detect it through our testing mechanisms as quickly as possible to contain any potential spread and protect the great progress Queensland has made in recent months."

Dr Young also moved to reassure people that there was no risk of infection through the state's water supply.

"Local drinking water is thoroughly treated through processes that are designed to remove or kill microorganisms before they reach your taps," she said.

Originally published as Virus alerts for four Qld areas


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