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EPA Research to Support States

Detection of SARS CoV-2 in Wastewater to Inform Public Health Webinar Archive

This webinar, recorded on December 16, 2020, featured Jay Garland, Research Scientist in the Center for Environmental Solutions and Emergency Response of EPA's Office of Research and Development, presenting on “Detection of SARS CoV-2 in Wastewater to Inform Public Health.”  Widespread studies conducted national and globally indicate that genes specific to the SARS-CoV-2 virus can be detected in wastewater. The ability to collectively sample both symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals has lead dozens of state, cities and universities to actively monitor wastewater to inform public health decisions. The clarity in the wastewater’s reflection of viral load within the community can be distorted by several factors, including variation in analytical detection methods, decay and dilution of the genes during wastewater transport, and imprecision in relating the wastewater signal to other, imperfect measures of community infection rates.

The webinar focuses on EPA ORD collaborative research efforts to reduce uncertainty across these three areas, including method development within our lab, application in sewersheds with distinctive levels of industrial and stormwater impacts within the Cincinnati Metropolitan Sewer District, and development of a wastewater surveillance system in Ohio in support of the State Department of Health.

More information on EPA's research on COVID-19 in the environment.

View the Detection of SARS CoV-2 in Wastewater to Inform Public Health webinar recording.

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