UC Berkeley launches wastewater testing dashboard to track virus

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Maddie Fruman/File
UC Berkeley announced its wastewater testing dashboard Wednesday, which monitors levels of the SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in sewage. 

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As part of efforts to track levels of the SARS-CoV-2 virus which causes COVID-19, UC Berkeley announced its wastewater testing dashboard Wednesday, which monitors levels of the virus in sewage.

The dashboard can be found on campus’ COVID-19 resources webpage along with the testing and new isolation and immunization dashboards. According to a campus update, this method of analyzing levels of the virus is unaffected by who accesses individual testing.

Monitoring wastewater may also help detect signs of outbreaks, the update added, since SARS-CoV-2 can be detected in the feces of individuals who have COVID-19 before they exhibit symptoms. UC Berkeley first began monitoring key campus wastewater locations in summer 2020 for the virus, according to the update.

In December 2020, a previous campus update stated that the virus was detected in wastewater from University Village as well as in samples from the Clark Kerr student residences.

The update noted that all samples are collected by a team from the Office of Environment, Health and Safety. The samples are later tested in a temporary laboratory operated by civil and environmental engineering professor Kara Nelson.

Aditya Katewa is a deputy news editor. Contact him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at @adkatewa1.