Durham Region Tests Wastewater To Track And Predict COVID-19 Cases

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Researchers from an Ontario university will test wastewater in an area to detect and predict potential new cases of COVID-19, with the aim of identifying sensitive areas of the virus.

Biology professor Andrea Kirkwood of Ontario Tech University, the Durham Regional Health Department and the Durham Region Works Department will sample untreated wastewater from various plant control plants weekly water pollution in the region.

In each sample, the team will look for traces of the new coronavirus, then use the data collected to create a scientific model that can predict potential outbreaks and find potential hotspot areas.

“This is a good opportunity for Ontario Tech University to participate in this unique research project,” said Durham Region medical officer of health Robert Kyle. “The results obtained from this study could potentially add another useful tool in the surveillance and advanced identification of possible COVID-19 activity occurring in certain areas of the community.”

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