Fragments of COVID-19 have been detected in the sewage systems of Young in the Riverina on two occasions this week, prompting calls for an uptake in testing.
The latest sample was collected in Young on September 12, and announced as positive on Tuesday morning.
It follows a positive detection in a previous sample taken on September 7 and announced over the weekend.
There are currently no knows cases of COVID-19 in Young. Hilltops Council Mayor Brian Ingram said the positive detection was "no reason for alarm, [but] a reason to be cautious".
The Murrumbidgee Local Health District has warned that the presence of these fragments could signal undetected cases in the community, urging any community members with symptoms to come forward for testing.
This message was echoed by NSW Health's Dr Jeremy McAnulty on Tuesday morning, who said testing is important - even with the mildest of symptoms - "so if there are cases there in the community, we can identify those quickly".
Over the weekend it was also reported that traces of the virus were detected in Harden, however follow-up testing this week was negative.
Cr Ingram said that any discussion about the source of the fragments would merely be speculation, and that the unfolding situation is a "day-by-day process at this stage".
"The best case scenario would be someone travelling through [that] isn't local," he said.
Deputy Premier John Barilaro seemed to suggest this could be the case on Tuesday, telling regional media there was a work crew from Dubbo in the area.
"They are isolating outside of the LGA, so it's possible that that sewage surveillance has picked up those that were coming through," he added.
Cr Ingram said that Young has "been a buzz" since Saturday when restrictions were lifted, urging the community to continue following rules around mask wearing, social distancing and hand hygiene.
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Before the Riverina left lockdown over the weekend, Mr Barilaro warned that all it would take is one positive case of the virus for an LGA to have stay-at-home orders imposed again.
This has now occurred in Yass, where a positive sewage detection was followed by a case of COVID-19 and the area re-entered lockdown after just three days.
Canberra has also had its lockdown extended by four weeks after 22 new cases of the virus were reported on Tuesday, making the region off-limits for travel these school holidays.
COVID-19 testing is available in a number of locations in Young, including at the Town Hall on Wednesday from 10am to 4pm and at the GP Respiratory Clinic, operating every weekday from 9am to 12.30pm.
There will also be a vaccination clinic in Young this week.
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