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Virginia will test sewage to help predict COVID-19 outbreaks

Testing sewage can help health officials gauge COVID-19 infection in a community.

VIRGINIA, USA — Author's note: The video above is on file from December 29, 2020.

The Virginia Department of Health will be monitoring sewage in various parts of the state in an effort to predict future outbreaks of COVID-19. 

The Danville Register & Bee reported Saturday that VDH is deploying up to 25 wastewater monitoring sites across the commonwealth. 

Testing sewage can help health officials gauge COVID-19 infection in a community. That's because people who are sick shed the virus in bodily waste. 

The sewage monitoring will complement other programs that monitor COVID-19 infection in the state's communities. The goal is to provide warnings before a surge begins. 

This kind of testing of wastewater isn’t new. It’s been used for other infectious diseases, such as polio.

 

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