COVID In Colorado: State Health Experts Using Wastewater To Detect Omicron Variant
DENVER (CBS4) – With confirmed cases of the new Omicron coronavirus variant growing around the world, Colorado health officials are ramping up the state’s early detection methods. That includes wastewater monitoring.
Susan De Long at Colorado State University helped launch the state’s surveillance program.
We are able to capture people who are never symptomatic. We are able to comprehensively track the level of disease in a community even for people who will never go to the doctor and get a test,” she said.
Working with more than 20 wastewater utilities across the state, taking two samples every week that are sent to the state lab for sequencing, they’ve been able to track COVID-19’s spread, in some cases before it happens.
“Data has shown that wastewater signals can spike for two to ten days before an outbreak or at least before hospitalizations might peak so it gives us that early warning,” De Long said.