EMU to test campus wastewater for COVID-19

EMU to test campus wastewater for COVID-19
September 21, 2020 The Associated Press

YPSILANTI, Mich. (AP) — Eastern Michigan University will test campus wastewater for the COVID-19 virus and other signs of infectious diseases.

The testing, part of the school’s return-to-campus plan, is intended to track the presence of the coronavirus in wastewater flowing from residence halls and apartment complexes.

The monitoring might provide early detection of asymptomatic cases of the virus, according to the school.

“The results of the tests will help us pinpoint any concerning trends and expand individual testing among specific populations as necessary,” EMU President James Smith said.

Researchers and health officials have said they can track the course of a community outbreak of the coronavirus by studying the waste flushed from its bathrooms. Tests have shown that wastewater contains infectious biomarkers that can signal the growth or reduction of the virus in a community or around a university campus.

EMU in Ypsilanti is working with Michigan-based Aquasight on the testing.

Read more COVID-19 news on Great Lakes Now:

Sewage Check: Great Lakes researchers look to wastewater for data on COVID-19

Sturgeon Stocking: COVID-19 puts pause on popular sturgeon release program

Intersecting Crises: Fighting for climate justice in a pandemic

Thousands allowed to bypass environmental rules in pandemic

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Featured image: Wastewater treatment plant (Photo from Flickr, CC BY 2.0)


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