ERG Helping New Mexico COVID-19 Response via Wastewater Surveillance Program

COVID-19 particle

ERG is assisting New Mexico in combating the spread of COVID-19 by developing an initiative to detect the virus in wastewater from congregate settings, such as shelters and correctional facilities, and using this information in making policy decisions. For example, where COVID-19 has not been detected in a facility, detection of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, can be used as an early warning of spread and a trigger to initiate nasal swab testing. Where there are active cases of COVID-19 in a facility, wastewater data can be used to track the magnitude of COVID-19 spread. Additionally, if positivity rates are reduced, the data can be used to monitor for a future increase in COVID-19 transmission. ERG is supporting the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) in identifying appropriate sampling points at each facility, developing detailed sampling and monitoring protocols, collecting and analyzing samples, and evaluating and presenting analytical results to inform policy decisions. See NMED press release for more details.

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