CDC tracking COVID in wastewater
A tool with broad applications..
For some time, COVID-19 PCR tests have been free of charge, and as of January 19th, citizens can receive up to 4 rapid tests in the mail. And while it is a worthy discussion as to why increased testing capacity remains an issue nearly 2 years after shutdown, the CDC announced an important development to aid public health officials better understand COVID-19 trends in their communities - the National Wastewater Surveillance System.
According to Dr. Amy Kirby, team lead for the National Wastewater Surveillance System, “between 40 and 80% of people with COVID-19 shed viral RNA in their feces, making wastewater and sewage an important opportunity for monitoring the spread of infection.” The effort began as a grassroots effort by academic researchers and wastewater utilities, and now more than 400 testing sites in 37 states, four cities and two territories are implementing wastewater surveillance systems in their communities. COVID-19 trends can be viewed on the CDC website, where you can see changes in virus levels in wastewater over the previous 15 days for each participating community.
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