$10 million wastewater COVID-19 outbreak surveillance program coming to Michigan

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Michigan is launching a new three-month pilot program to monitor wastewater for COVID-19 outbreaks.Municipalities, health departments, universities and others throughout the state will have access to $10 million in grant funding to facilitate the program in partnership with the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS). The grant was allocated from Michigan’s Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act funding.The departments are seeking to create a coordinated network of monitoring systems by Oct. 1.

Testing of wastewater for viruses, which are shed in human waste, can help health officials track transmission through the community and raise an early alert to potential outbreaks.








A circular clarifier at the Pontiac Wastewater Treatment Facility on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in Pontiac.

Photo by Natalie Broda – Digital First Media

“Since nearly 70% of Michigan residents rely on public wastewater systems, this COVID-19 surveillance program has the potential to provide critical, life-saving data on COVID-19 transmission within a large portion of Michigan’s population,” Liesl Clarks, director of EGLE, said. “The ability to predict outbreaks on college campuses, at nursing homes, prisons, and other congregate care facilities could be game-changer in …

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