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Neighborhood-level wastewater testing could offer new insights into COVID-19, other illnesses

Dec 7, 2022


Boston's latest public health investment applies funding and lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic to 11 neighborhoods in an effort to track future movements of the virus and potentially collect information about other pathogens in the future.

Dr. Bisola Ojikutu, the city’s public health commissioner, told members of the Boston City Council this week that her office partnered with two vendors to install wastewater testing sites across the city. The effort, which involves weekly sampling and analysis, is being paid for with $3.9 million in federal funding.


With COVID-19 testing down significantly but regional wastewater data showing an increase in the virus, Ojikutu said the new effort is crucial to understanding the spread through local communities. Data should begin to become available soon, she said.

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