COVID sewer monitoring for cohousers
From: Chuck Harrison (
Date: Mon, 13 Jul 2020 16:04:03 -0700 (PDT)
I was interested to learn recently that CDC is coordinating a new program
"National Wastewater Surveillance" which is looking for COVID viral RNA in
city sewage. This is still in the pilot study phase but it looks to be both
a good way to track rise and fall of infection rate in a region and also a
good "sentinel" to detect new infections days or weeks before they would
show up in public health case data.

A nice feature of this is that researchers can get large-scale
epidemiological data by sampling at a regional treatment plant, or focus in
on neighborhoods or even specific targeted facilities like a nursing home
or a university dorm by sampling at the right place. I would think you
could monitor a single cohousing development in the same way.

This could be an "early warning system" for a community, triggering tighter
behavior and individual testing.

I wonder if any of our communities are in a position to get involved in one
of the research pilot studies that are starting up around the country right

While it may be hard, right now, to justify using scarce testing resources
on "sentinel" testing of healthy communities, I think that will change. We
need to be thinking about a "new normal" after time has passed, laboratory
capacity has been built up more, and we are living in a world that remains
awash in COVID.

Duwamish Cohousing

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