Water and surface surveillance can detect 93% of school-based COVID-19 cases
A new study posted to the medRxiv* preprint server explores environmental surveillance of elementary school settings for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) through wastewater and surface samples monitoring. The researchers demonstrated that 93% of the COVID-19 cases in public elementary schools could be identified using this method.
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, caused by SARS-CoV-2, globally shut down institutions, places of work, and businesses, either in a phased manner or entirely, depending on the government’s policy and guidelines. Based on mitigation strategies and vaccine rollouts for adults, the safe reopening of places is determined by the spread of disease in the country and the number of cases of infection.
Reopening schools and keeping them operational during the COVID-19 pandemic is a public health challenge. Schools need to be reopened for in-person education, which is essential for the children’s social, physical, and emotional wellbeing. Schools also enable parental workforce participation by providing essential childcare. Loss of jobs resulting in poverty due to school closures can also be avoided.