Sampling has begun with CWCO partners

In September, 2020, the COVID-19 Wastewater Consortium of Ontario (CWCO) started an 8-week wastewater sampling program across Ontario with the support of its partners. In the past  two months, the province has seen a spike in the number of clinical COVID-19 cases, bringing the challenge of a second wave of COVID-19. The collection of wastewater samples from
sewershed networks at this time is crucial, as these samples act as reference points in our study. The analysis of this wastewater allows us to pinpoint specific hotspots within a region. This tracking strategy gives public health officials the data which they need to make informed decisions. For instance, if a particular region’s wastewater suggests a spike in COVID-19 cases, public health officials can better allocate resources to the needs of their communities.

Download the PDF Newsletter to read more.

 

Why is wastewater tracking critical?

No matter how many COVID-19 tests are done, current methods suffer from severe limitations. Governments struggle to capture accurate COVID-19 infection rates of asymptomatic and mildly symptomatic individuals, delaying public health responses. Cutting edge global and domestic research confirms that COVID-19 can be reliably  detected in the feces of affected individuals including those with mild to no symptoms – an area where clinical tests fall short.

A broad wastewater testing system may be able to constantly test and accurately report on the spread of disease within communities to address a crucial need not only for the current pandemic, but for future outbreaks.

You can read more about our approach to building capacity in Ontario for sustainable wastewater monitoring for COVID-19 in our first newsletter.

Download the September newsletter [PDF]