Sewage testing helps health officials for virus surges
LAWRENCE, Kan. — A study that tests for parts of the coronavirus in sewage is giving public health workers advance notice of virus surges.
The Lawrence Journal-World reported that the City of Lawrence has been taking weekly sewage samples at both of its wastewater treatment plants to test for components of the virus shed in feces as part of a study contracted through the University of Kansas School of Engineering.
The city has also been sharing that data with local and state health departments.
Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health spokesman George Diepenbrock said that the presence of the virus in wastewater has served as an early predictor of surges in positive cases, providing about a week’s notice and giving the health department valuable lead time.