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Study: Sewer samples signal pending rise or fall in COVID-19

Posted at 11:06 AM, Apr 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-06 14:06:38-04

RENO (AP) — Researchers at the University of Nevada, Reno say they have developed a model to helps predict if confirmation of COVID-19 cases in a local community will significantly rise or fall in the week ahead.

Scientists say data sampled from sewers and wastewater treatment plants last year showed a correlation to the number of positive tests for coronavirus in Reno-Sparks that would follow in about seven days.


The researchers monitored sewers and treatment plants for concentrations of the virus that causes COVID-19. They say an increased presence in samples preceded a formal uptick in confirmed cases because most people don't get tested until they feel symptoms.