Detecting COVID-19 variants in wastewater

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Dr. Lawrence Goodridge testing wastewater for COVID-19

“I am proud of Ontario’s leadership in SARS-CoV-2 surveillance in wastewater. Through a coordinated approach, leveraging the province’s deep genomics resources and capacity, this project will provide early signals of worrisome viral changes and equip public health with evidence for timely decision making.”

Dr. Bettina Hamelin, President and CEO, Ontario Genomics

Detecting COVID-19 variants in wastewater

The virus that causes COVID-19 is constantly evolving and health care and public health experts are finding new ways to better understand and detect the virus. 

A research collaboration between the University of Guelph and the University of Ottawa in partnership with Ontario Genomics, Genome Canada and Illumina, is seeking to learn more about the virus by analyzing Ontario’s wastewater. Through this initiative, researchers are undertaking viral wastewater surveillance to help provincial and national efforts to understand how the virus that causes COVID-19 is changing over time. Sampling wastewater will help identify potential outbreaks before they are reported by community members, which will help regional and district public health units plan ahead. 

The research is further supported by experts at other Ontario universities including the University of Waterloo, University of Windsor and Ryerson University. 

For more information, visit the University of Guelph.