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Tracking COVID-19 with Wastewater Samples

To assess how far the virus has spread in the New Haven community, Yale researchers in the departments of epidemiology and in chemical & environmental engineering – led by Prof. Jordan Peccia – are sampling local wastewater and then extracting RNA from the samples to determine the concentration of the coronavirus in the wastewater. Besides getting a more accurate estimate of the likely number of actual cases in the broader New Haven population, the applied methods may lead to an early warning system for the spread of disease in the population. Similar monitoring of wastewaters may be useful in other locales and settings as well to estimate actual number of corona infections in the absence of available testing of people.