Macomb County to begin sampling sewage to trace COVID-19 hotspots

Posted at 8:36 AM, May 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-27 08:36:09-04

(WXYZ) — The Macomb County Public Works Office announced Wednesday it has started a program to sample and study sewage to trace hotspots for COVID-19.

The county is working with Oakland University and Michigan State University on the project. The goal, according to the county, will be to provide an online dashboard to allow people to see the data for themselves.

“Providing information not only to our medical professionals, but to the public as well, is foundational to fighting this disease. We believe there is a real opportunity here to be a part of the solution and we are working as quickly as we can toward that goal,” said Commissioner Candice Miller. “This ability to detect potential hotspots will be critical as we re-open our economy.”

The project is being funded by money from the federal CARES Act and will create seven sample collection sites in Clinton Township. Samples will be taken twice a week and sent to the universities for testing.

“Through this, we hope we can identify if certain neighborhoods or parts of a community where there is a hot spot. Our goal is to provide that information to the Health Department, so they can better target their contact tracing or other actions they may be able to take to reduce the community risk,” Miller said.

The project is to run throughout summer 2020 and then be evaluated for any potential modifications and then further expansion.

The City of Detroit has partnered with MSU on a similar project.

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