COVID-19 monitoring in wastewater

Updated December 17, 2020

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Wastewater treatment plant with Colorado front range in the background

The state is collaborating with labs and wastewater utilities to test for COVID-19 virus particles in wastewater. The virus can appear in poop before someone shows any symptoms. People who don’t show symptoms also can shed the virus. Testing wastewater can give health officials early warnings about increases or decreases in COVID-19 cases within a community. With this information, health officials can:

  • Increase resource capacity in the community if there is an increase in cases. 
  • Re-evaluate closure and social distancing measures if there is a decrease in cases.
  • Use the information to track virus trends across communities.

View the latest wastewater sample data and learn more about the science through our FAQ.

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