Hampton Roads Sanitation will test for COVID-19 Omicron variant in sewage soon

Dec 1, 2021

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Kyle Curtis is the first to admit, sometimes his job doesn't sound the most glamorous from an outside perspective. 

“Sometimes I’ll jump right to that and say 'I’m a poop scientist, a poop microbiologist,'" Curtis laughed.

But as an environmental scientist for the Hampton Roads Sanitation District, his work is always important. And lately, it's especially helpful in getting past the COVID-19 pandemic. 


“Whether you’re symptomatic or not, you’ll shed the virus," Curtis said. 

Within the next several weeks, the HRSD says it'll be able to test for the emerging Omicron variant within the wastewater of southeastern Virginia. 

Testing for trace levels of COVID-19 within the area's sewage is research that HRSD has been conducting since the beginning of the pandemic and that their testing allows them to also detect the prevalence of particular variants within a community as well. 

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