MDC To Partner With Yale to Track COVID-19 in Wastewater

Yale researches have already found that tracking the virus in sewage sludge can help predict increases and decreases of COVID-19 cases, sometimes days sooner than testing.

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The Metropolitan District and Yale University are partnering up to monitor for COVID-19 in wastewater in the greater Hartford region.

The study aims to help with advanced warning of potential outbreaks. Yale researches have already been sampling New Haven-area wastewater since March, and found that increases and decreases of the virus detected in sewage predicted the results found by individual testing up to five days sooner. This kind of advance warning can help public health officials contain outbreaks.

The MDC study will focus on samples of wastewater collected from the MDC's Hartford Water Pollution Control Facility, which is the largest wastewater treatment facility in the state and serves Hartford, West Hartford, Newington, Bloomfield and parts of Wethersfield.

“The MDC is excited about the opportunity to partner with Yale in order to provide our public health officials with additional data to recognize COVID-19 cases and plan accordingly,” said MDC CEO Scott Jellison in a media release. "MDC employees have quietly gone about their business keeping essential water and wastewater services flowing during the pandemic. We hope this partnership with Yale expertise will give officials yet another tool to help fight the virus.”

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