What does Utah’s sewage say now about how prevalent COVID is in our communities?

Feb 7, 2022

There’s one surefire way to know if the coronavirus is truly waning in our community: #PoopWatch.

That’s the informal name, coined by our Salt Lake Tribune columnist Robert Gehrke, for Utah’s coronavirus sewage monitoring system. It’s a gross method of data collection, to be sure, but it’s also an effective one, measuring populationwide trends like no other system can.

That’s especially true in the omicron winter of 2021-22. Public health officials still don’t want people to be tested for COVID-19 if they have symptoms, instead just asking people to stay home. It’s a controversial policy because, obviously, that reduces the number of positive tests that get added to our daily case counts, and makes it harder to track what’s happening.

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