Wastewater monitoring detects increase of COVID-19 in western U.P. communities

Nov 16, 2021

WESTERN UPPER PENINSULA, Mich. (WJMN) – According to the Western Upper Peninsula Health Department (WUPHD), recent routine wastewater testing has shown an increasing trend in the detection of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, also known as COVID-19.

WUPHD is partnered with local wastewater monitoring systems to test wastewater samples for the presence of COVID-19 in human feces. The recent testing has shown an increase of COVID-19 in Baraga, Bessemer, Chassell, Copper Harbor, Hancock, Houghton, Ironwood, L’Anse, South Range, Wakefield, and Watersmeet. This upward trend is an early indicator that COVID-19 cases in the community are increasing.

The SARS-CoV-2 virus, which is the virus that causes COVID-19 disease, can be detected in wastewater before an increase in positive clinical tests is seen in a community. The virus can be shed in human feces for weeks, including before a person becomes ill, while a person is ill, and in people who are not ill but are infected, according to WUPHD.
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