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Virginia Department of Health testing sewage to predict COVID-19 outbreaks

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Published: Nov. 29, 2021 at 6:37 PM EST
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - With concern of the new COVID-19 variant, the Virginia Department of Health is upping its sewage testing. This is an effort to predict future outbreaks of COVID-19.

VDH is using up to 25 wastewater monitoring sites across the commonwealth.

The team says the genetic material from wastewater that causes COVID-19 can be present in human waste, even when individual have no symptoms.

“We are trying to use this tool to see how this virus is spreading in the communities, and if we can provide some early warning to our response team, to target interventions in the specific areas,” VDH Wastewater Surveillance Program Manager Rekha Singh said. “And we are looking into variant data also, so as we heard about this new variant, so we are working with our public health lab.”

The VDH logs the data from these sites every week and the team says it is an effort to support public health.

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