Authors

Sasha Harris-Lovett, Berkeley Water Center, University of California Berkeley
Kara L. Nelson, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California Berkeley
Paloma Beamer, Department of Community, Environment & Policy, Zuckerman College of Public Health, University of Arizona
Heather N. Bischel, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California Davis
Aaron Bivins, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences, University of Notre Dame
Andrea Bruder, Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, Colorado College
Caitlyn Butler, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Todd D. Camenisch, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, St. John Fisher CollegeFollow
Susan K. De Long, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Colorado State University
Smruthi Karthikeyan, Department of Pediatrics, University of California San Diego
David A. Larsen, Department of Public Health, Syracuse University
Katherine Meiediercks, Department of Environmental Studies and Sciences, Siena College
Paula J. Mouser, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Sheree Pagsuyoin, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Sarah M. Prasek, 15Water and Energy Sustainable Technology Center, University of Arizona
Tyler S. Radniecki, School of Chemical, Biological, and Environmental Engineering, Oregon State University
Jeffrey L. Ram, Department of Physiology, Wayne State University
D. Keith Roper, Department of Biological Engineering, Utah State University
Hannah Safford, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California Davis
Samendra P. Sherchan, Department of Environmental Health Science, Tulane University
William Shuster, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Wayne State University
Thibault Stalder, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Idaho
Robert T. Wheeler, Department of Molecular and Biomedical Sciences, University of Maine
Katrina Smith Korfmacher, Department of Environmental Medicine, University of Rochester

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

4-22-2021

Abstract

Wastewater surveillance for the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is an emerging approach to help identify the risk of a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak. This tool can contribute to public health surveillance at both community (wastewater treatment system) and institutional (e.g., colleges, prisons, and nursing homes) scales. This paper explores the successes, challenges, and lessons learned from initial wastewater surveillance efforts at colleges and university systems to inform future research, development and implementation. We present the experiences of 25 college and university systems in the United States that monitored campus wastewater for SARS-CoV-2 during the fall 2020 academic period. We describe the broad range of approaches, findings, resources, and impacts from these initial efforts. These institutions range in size, social and political geographies, and include both public and private institutions. Our analysis suggests that wastewater monitoring at colleges requires consideration of local information needs, sewage infrastructure, resources for sampling and analysis, college and community dynamics, approaches to interpretation and communication of results, and follow-up actions. Most colleges reported that a learning process of experimentation, evaluation, and adaptation was key to progress. This process requires ongoing collaboration among diverse stakeholders including decision-makers, researchers, faculty, facilities staff, students, and community members.

DOI

https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18094455

Comments

This article was originally published in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 2021, 18(9); https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18094455

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