Environmental monitoring of wastewater (regularly testing sewage) is another tool Healthy Davis Together is using to learn about COVID-19 and prevent its spread in our community.
The virus that causes COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) is found in the excrement (feces and urine) of individuals who have COVID-19, including asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic individuals. This means that wastewater testing can be used as an early-warning detection system for the virus in a regional area (e.g., a neighborhood).
Healthy Davis Together (HDT) wastewater testing is helping to slow and prevent the spread and reemergence of COVID-19 in Davis in two ways. First, wastewater data can be used to strengthen confidence in clinical-testing data. When wastewater and clinical data don’t match, it can be a sign that clinical testing needs to be ramped up. Second, wastewater testing is an inexpensive way to get information on regional infection trends over time. Trend data indicate whether existing efforts to combat COVID-19 are working and whether more needs to be done in certain areas.
As of May 18, 2021, this dashboard includes data for an expanded number of sampling locations. Additional locations sample from smaller geographic regions, enabling the HDT wastewater-monitoring team to continue monitoring small changes in SARS-CoV-2 concentrations even as COVID-19 levels in the City overall remain low.