COVID wastewater testing appears in Tompkins County

Apr 20, 2022

A few years after Cornell mentioned the possibility in their re-opening plan, testing wastewater for COVID has finally arrived in one corner of Tompkins County.

As the Centers for Disease Control explains, wastewater testing has a lot of advantages over individual tests:

People infected with SARS-CoV-2 can shed the virus in their feces, even if they don’t have symptoms. The virus can then be detected in wastewater, enabling wastewater surveillance to capture presence of SARS-CoV-2 shed by people with and without symptoms. This allows wastewater surveillance to serve as an early warning that COVID-19 is spreading in a community. Once health departments are aware, communities can act quickly to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Data from wastewater testing support public health mitigation strategies by providing additional crucial information about the prevalence of COVID-19 in a community.

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