Results In For City Wastewater Testing For Coronavirus; More Pandemic Updates
Nine weeks of testing Traverse City’s wastewater at eight different locations found that nearly three-quarters of samples contained traces of coronavirus – part of a statewide pilot program to research COVID-19 monitoring that could also help Traverse City track E. coli and other contaminants in the future. The Ticker has more details on those and other coronavirus-related updates this week, including the expansion of vaccine distribution in Michigan and the district-wide return to in-person learning at Traverse City Area Public Schools.
A $10 million statewide pilot program to test wastewater in Michigan communities, on university campuses, and at other institutions from October to December with the goal of monitoring and reducing COVID-19 spread included eight locations sampled weekly in Traverse City – with nearly three-quarters of those samples coming back showing some level of SARS-CoV2.
Traverse City received $173,000 in grant funding to participate in the program that included over 270 testing sites throughout the state, including sewers and wastewater treatment plants. According to the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE), coronavirus is shed in human feces – including from people who are infected but not yet showing symptoms – and can be detected in wastewater up to a week before a correlating increase is seen in clinical cases. State officials hope to better study how wastewater testing can be used as an early surveillance system, alerting officials to potential impending outbreaks.