Ontario announces investment in province-wide COVID-19 wastewater surveillance initiative

We have exciting news to share about the advancement of our wastewater initiative!

We have joined the province of Ontario in undertaking a COVID-19 wastewater surveillance initiative to test wastewater samples in communities across the province to determine whether wastewater surveillance can be used in conjunction with clinical data as a tool to inform a public health response. Our involvement will support Ontario’s COVID-19 Fall Preparedness Plan to quickly identify, manage and prevent outbreaks, the province.

The Government of Ontario is investing $12.2 million over the next two years to partner with and support Ontario universities and municipalities that are conducting important research to advance COVID-19 detection in wastewater and relief efforts across Ontario. As we have mentioned previously, wastewater surveillance could help detect early signals and trends, ensuring public health measures can be timely and targeted.

At McMaster University, the laboratory will be conducting important research to validate the processes and methods used to analyze wastewater in this important initiative. CWCO partners will be collecting and sharing the samples used in this research, and with the province, municipalities will be expanding their capacity to test for SARS-COV-2, and enable them to track other pathogens and viruses in the future.

This initiative will extend to some remote communities and vulnerable populations, such as long-term care facilities, First Nations communities, shelters, retirement residences and correctional institutions to be added to the surveillance network.

We are extremely proud to be part of this important initiative. For more information about the  COVID-19 wastewater surveillance initiative, please read the information sheet provided by the province.