Environmental Surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 in Wastewater
Environmental surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater has the potential to support understanding of COVID‑19 occurrence and transmission in communities. As such, wastewater may be monitored for SARS-CoV-2 to determine the prevalence of COVID‑19 infections in a given population through wastewater-based epidemiology. Ultimately, routine monitoring of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in a community’s wastewater may be used as a tool to aid in public health decision making and assist in identifying subsequent waves of the virus which will minimize the spread of this pandemic.
Drs. Stoddart, Jamieson and Gagnon will lead a team of researchers in collaboration with Halifax Water, LuminUltra Technologies, the Nova Scotia Health Authority and Nova Scotia Environment to develop a wastewater-based surveillance approach for SARS-CoV-2 in support of public health initiatives. This approach will include: i) development of a wastewater-based surveillance approach for SARS-CoV-2 for the Province of Nova Scotia, ii) optimization of assessment techniques for SARS-CoV-2 from environmental samples in collaboration with LuminUltra and the Nova Scotia Health Authority and iii) Communication of data to the Nova Scotia Health Authority for public health decision making such as identification of extent of infection in Nova Scotia, early identification of subsequent waves of the virus and informing the safe lifting of social and economic restrictions.