COVID-19 found in wastewater of 2 University of Waterloo residences

A University of Waterloo sign. Ahmad Fareed Khan / Global News

The University of Waterloo has discovered COVID-19 in the wastewater of two of its residences on campus, although there has only been one case recently detected at the school.

On its dashboard, the school says it has detected COVID-19 in samples taken from the Ron Eydt Village and Village 1 residences.

It also says there is only active COVID-19 case involving someone associated with the school.

Read more: Poop provides another way for Waterloo Region to flush out spread of COVID-19

In an email sent to students on Friday, the school said it had launched a pilot project to test the wastewater at four student residences on its Waterloo campus.

It said the project would include taking samples three times per week which would allow the opportunity to discover additional cases which could involve students or staff from the residences.

Story continues below advertisement
Click to play video: 'Coronavirus: Research shows sewage could help detect COVID-19 outbreaks' Coronavirus: Research shows sewage could help detect COVID-19 outbreaks
Coronavirus: Research shows sewage could help detect COVID-19 outbreaks – Jan 9, 2021

On the dashboard, the school noted the project will be used “to reaffirm the effectiveness of our COVID-19 safety protocols and support further actions that may assist in the early detection of potential outbreaks”

In the email to students, the school issued guidance in the event that it did find COVID-19 in wastewater.

Read more: Waterloo profs sign letter opposing school’s COVID-19 mandate

Those who are asymptomatic but are not fully vaccinated or exempt are to continue rapid antigen testing. If they have a positive test they should get a PCR test as should those who are symptomatic.

Those who are vaccinated and not symptomatic should continue with regular COVID-19 safety protocols such as limiting social contact, proper social distancing and wearing masks when necessary.

Story continues below advertisement

The school told students it is hoping the wastewater project will continue to assist in opening things up further this fall.

Sponsored content