Redeemer Partners with McMaster on COVID-19 Wastewater Testing

Wastewater testing for the virus will provide useful information from Redeemer’s campus, which is currently open to students, staff and faculty, but not the general public.

While McMaster’s research project is tracking COVID-19 via wastewater to support its re-opening plans, collaboration with Redeemer is expected to provide useful information from a campus that is already open to students, faculty and staff, but closed to the general public. The project will provide Redeemer with specific and regular data about the presence of the virus on campus, serving as an early warning system and allowing for the implementation of remedial measures as necessary.

Read the full story on Redeemer University’s website

sewer manhole cover

McMaster to significantly increase wastewater testing designed to track COVID-19

Researchers at McMaster University are ramping up a wastewater testing program designed to quickly detect and track COVID-19 in raw sewage which could serve as an early warning sign for current outbreaks and future pandemics.

While existing clinical tests can identify affected individuals with precision, researchers say wastewater testing is a cost-efficient and quick means to identify the virus and can be narrowed down to identify specific neighborhoods and communities.

“We know COVID-19 can be reliably detected in feces of affected individuals including those with mild to no symptoms, which is an area where clinical tests fall short,” says Gail Krantzberg, a professor at the W. Booth School of Engineering Practice and Technology, who is working with colleague and wastewater expert Zobia Jawed on the research project.

“A broad wastewater testing system allows us to constantly monitor, test and accurately report on the spread of disease within communities, which would include nursing homes, schools and universities, to address the crucial need not only for the current pandemic but for future outbreaks,” she says.

With support from the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP), researchers plan to test samples three times a week and report results within 24 hours to public health agencies in a number of municipalities which include the City of Hamilton, Niagara Region, Haldimand County, Norfolk County and Oxford County. Several universities across Ontario are working with the province on the program.

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