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Using wastewater to detect spread of coronavirus on UA campus

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Posted at 6:08 PM, Aug 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-28 21:08:52-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — The University of Arizona announced its using wastewater based epidemiology on campus.

Wastewater based epidemiology is a type of testing method that relies on testing wastewater to determine if COVID-19 is present in a community. It will also detect virus among those who are asymptomatic.

University president, Dr. Robert Robbins said using this method can be a leading indicator of detecting COVID-19 community spread.

“What we’re trying to find are those asymptomatic individuals that could be unknowing vectors infecting people. It provides a broad indicator of change in a building, but not necessarily a specific room. It’s part of our overall test, trace and treat protocol here at the university of Arizona which provides more precise testing,” said Robbins.

The university has sampled about 20 buildings across campus so far, mostly including dorms.