Augusta Wastewater Showing Traces of COVID-19
Remember a few weeks ago when I talked about how the city of Augusta was getting some federal funding that would allow officials to begin testing your fecal debris for coronavirus? Well the testing has begun and officials are reportedly finding exactly what they were looking for.
According to WABI TV 5, the city of Augusta said they have found a 'very small concentration' of the virus in samples of the wastewater that was collected. This seemingly coincides with the two reported cases of the virus here in Kennebec County.
The testing is being done with the funding of a federal grant in an effort to monitor the prevalence of the virus in our community by testing the city's wastewater. If the traces of COVID in the water begin to climb, then it's likely there are more people in our area who have contracted and are carrying coronavirus.
Augusta's Economic Development Director, Keith Luke, told WABI,
“It’s more immediate, the feedback, and proactive rather than reactive. When you rely on people who present with symptoms or hospitalizations it’s a very narrow band or information that you’re gathering and making decisions or trying to draw conclusions from. This is a much broader based testing and really gives us a snapshot of just how widespread it is in the community.”
The Greater Augusta Utility District will continue working with Massachusetts company BIOBOT to complete intermittent testing of the Central Maine wastewater as long as the grant funding from the CDC allows.
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