Tracking COVID-19 in Wastewater

Modified: June 30, 2021 11:19am

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Tracking COVID-19 in Wastewater – Erie County, New York

Research has shown that humans shed the virus causing COVID-19 (the SARS-CoV-2 virus) in their stool when infected individuals use the bathroom.  The Erie County Department of Health and the Erie County Department of Environment and Planning – Division of Sewerage Management organized a partnership with local sewer service providers and the University at Buffalo to test wastewater for the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.  This wastewater testing allows for a relationship regarding the relative prevalence of COVID-19 within a geographic area to be developed based on the concentration of the virus fragments in the samples.  The Department of Health can utilize this information in conjunction with other data and metrics to assist in understanding COVID-19 impacts in our community.

The Erie County Department of Environment and Planning – Division of Sewerage Management has developed a story map to explain this project and a customized data dashboard to present these results.  Please visit to access this information.