New wastewater data suggests New Haven may be in COVID-19 ‘red zone’

Nov 4, 2020

Recent wastewater data analyzed by a team from the Department of Chemical & Environmental Engineering indicates that New Haven’s COVID-19 cases are higher than city data suggests.

The data was published by COVIDTracker CT on Oct. 28. The findings indicate an uptick in coronavirus cases in New Haven, estimating that case numbers are at 20 cases per 100,000 people per day — as opposed to the 13.9 per 100,000 people reported by the city in last week’s press conference. New Haven Public Health Director Maritza Bond said in the conference that New Haven was already nearing the “red zone.” The “red zone” is defined as 15 cases per 100,000 people. However, the new data from Yale researchers suggests that New Haven might be reaching this zone in a few days, if it has not already. The new findings have caused alarm among city officials, who moved New Haven back from Phase 3 of its reopening to Phase 2 last Thursday.

The research project was spearheaded by Professor of Chemical & Environmental Engineering Jordan Peccia in March, with assistance from doctoral student Alessandro Zulli GRD ’26 and research technician Annabelle Pan ’20. 

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