CDPHE: State publishes wastewater and COVID-19 monitoring public dashboard
REMOTE, December 22, 2020: Preliminary data for the wastewater and COVID-19 monitoring pilot project is now available on the state’s COVID-19 website. The state is collaborating with scientists from Colorado State University, Metropolitan State University, GT Molecular, and Colorado wastewater utilities, to monitor levels of COVID-19 virus particles found in wastewater. The information will be used to help us understand how prevalent COVID-19 is in Colorado and big shifts in that prevalence.
Studies have shown that individuals who develop COVID-19 have detectable virus particles in their stool before, during, and after their infection. By measuring the quantity of these particles found in wastewater, we hope to improve our understanding of the number of individuals affected by COVID-19, including individuals who do not have symptoms or do not undergo testing.
We are looking for trends -– either upward or downward –- that could indicate an increase or decrease in the number of people shedding viral material in their stool. Higher levels can potentially indicate a rise in cases in your community. The science is evolving, and we are still determining if the data is reliable for COVID-19 monitoring. To be as safe as possible, we highly recommend that all Coloradans continue to follow public health guidance.
“We love data, and we look forward to more of it so we can better determine if this is a useful tool in fighting this pandemic,” said Nicole Rowan, clean water program manager for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. “We are so grateful for the many partners involved in collecting and organizing this important information.”
Wastewater utilities collect wastewater samples at their treatment plants and send them to the partner labs. The Colorado Department of Public Health and local public health epidemiologists analyze the results to help understand potential trends for COVID cases in those communities. To learn more about the effort, please visit https://covid19.colorado.gov/covid-19-monitoring-in-wastewater.