With vaccines widely available in the US, and as restrictions are eased or eliminated, individual PCR testing of infected individuals alone is no longer practical for long-term monitoring and prevention of COVID-19 outbreaks. However, there is still risk of future outbreaks from viral variants.
Wastewater testing is a rapid, passive, and non-intrusive approach to assessing the infection burden in a community and overcomes the bias of access to medical care. This data can enable quicker and more targeted responses, including further individual testing, implementation of non-therapeutic public health action and rapid development and deployment of targeted treatments.
In partnership with Stanford University and the University of Michigan, Verily has developed a novel, sensitive and scalable method to measure levels of SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater.