Madison County tracking COVID-19 through wastewater surveillance

Coronavirus

WAMPSVILLE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Madison County says it’s joined efforts to track COVID-19 infection through its wastewater.

The SARS-CoV-2 Early Warning Surveillance Platform (SARS2-EWSP), a collaborative effort between Syracuse University (SU), SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY ESF), and SUNY Upstate Medical University, Quadrant Biosciences and local wastewater treatment operators, will study wastewater for early warning signs of COVID-19.

Samples are collected from Cazenovia’s, SUNY Morrisville’s, and Colgate University’s wastewater treatment plants twice a week. Those samples are sent to Quadrant Biosciences for testing and analysis.

Madison County Health Director Eric Faisst says by testing the wastewater, COVID-19 can be tracked in the community before the county sees positive cases in residents. “Surveillance of the wastewater in our community will serve as an early warning detection system, which will help us better identify hotspots earlier in our community.” Faisst adds, “Wastewater surveillance is a common surveillance tool for identifying the presence of various viruses in a population.  The idea that we can use it to detect and identify COVID-19 is an asset to our community, especially in our college communities.”

Over 4,600 college students, many from other states and countries, will be welcomed back to Madison County in the following weeks. Tracking the spread of COVID-19 in higher populated areas and college campuses will help the Health Department identify and possibly prevent or minimize any potential community spread.


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