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Lakeshore Taking Part In COVID-19 Wastewater Testing

Thursday October 15th, 2020, 7:30pm

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Lakeshore is participating in an initiative to test untreated local wastewater for evidence of the COVID-19 virus, which can be an early indicator if cases are increasing in the community.

Wastewater samples are being taken at the Denis St. Pierre Wastewater Treatment Plant on a weekly basis and analyzed by the Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research at the University of Windsor in cooperation with Ontario biotech company S.M. Research Inc.

There is evidence that the genetic signal for the COVID-19 virus can be detected in untreated wastewater. The genetic signal does not identify if the virus is intact, fragmented or infectious, just that the virus is present. The science to monitor wastewater for the virus is new but has potential to be a valuable tool to public health and may provide an alert to a second wave of infection in the community.

The testing takes place at the untreated state of wastewater treatment. Research has shown the COVID-19 virus is inactivated in the wastewater treatment and disinfection process.

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