Groundbreaking COVID research in Missouri shows alarming trend

Jan 6, 2022

ST. LOUIS — New testing on human waste shows the current surge of COVID-19 may be the worst yet for the St. Louis area.  The groundbreaking findings and research in Missouri may provide a roadmap for the future of COVID-19 response in the rest of the United States.   St. Louis and the State of Missouri are actually pioneering a new way to determine whether there’s going to be another outbreak, where it will happen, and how big it may be.   

What we send from our toilets into wastewater treatment plants can say a lot about how sick we are collectively and how sick we may become, according to researchers.   


“You really get a feel of what’s out in a community not just what’s coming from 1 person,” said Jay Hoskins, the assistant director of environmental compliance for the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District (MSD).  “If we sample the wastewater for COVID, we might actually get data that would (give) us a leading indicator because people shed the virus before they’re actually showing symptoms. When you look at that data it is alarming.”  

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