Can tracking COVID-19 in wastewater help slow the spread?

Jan 26, 2022

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - For nearly a year and a half, wastewater samples were collected across the University of Florida’s part of Gator WATCH, which stands for waste water analysis for tracking community health.

As COVID-19 hotspots were detected, researcher Joseph Bisesi said isolation and testing protocols could be implemented to reduce the spread of the virus.

“Wastewater was definitely able to identify a few hotspots where we didn’t know there were cases at the time so I think it was effective in addition to the testing going on with the screen, test and protect program,” Bisesi said.

Classroom buildings and fraternity and sorority houses are just two examples of places monitored. While on-campus testing concluded at the end of the fall semester, the recent spike in cases is still being monitored through sampling throughout Gainesville.

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