Grant program in Chesapeake on wastewater tests for COVID-19 to possibly expand

Oct 11, 2021

CHESAPEAKE, Va. — It’s a unique way to test for COVID-19 in Chesapeake: health leaders are testing wastewater for COVID-19.

“It’s all about preventing the spread, trying to get control,” said Cynthia Jackson, who is Chesapeake Health Department’s Environmental Health Manager. “Individuals can actually shed the virus. By testing for the virus in the wastewater we are able to detect any areas of Chesapeake that may be higher.”


Jackson said this project is under a grant program. It’s a partnership between city leaders, the Virginia Department of Health, Old Dominion University professors, and the Hampton Roads Sanitation District.

“We have our results five to seven days before anyone would show symptoms or even if they are asymptotic,” she explained. “We are able to tell if we have individuals who are out there shedding the virus.”

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