© 2024 Maine Public
1450 Lisbon St.
Lewiston, ME 04240

Maine Public Membership Department
63 Texas Ave.
Bangor, ME 04401

Portland Office
323 Marginal Way
Portland, ME 04101

Registered 501(c)(3) EIN: 22-3171529
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Scroll down to see all available streams.

Augusta Will Test Wastewater For COVID-19

Shawn Honnick
Flickr Creative Commons

The city of Augusta is testing its wastewaterto detect COVID-19.

"We will have a snapshot of time that is not dependent on either the testing activities of others or where they might be in the progression of the illness."  

Economic Development Director Keith Luke says the city will conduct the testing weekly to better track virus levels in the community. He also says that says early detection would give officials time to act to contain potential outbreaks. 

"One of the actions could be to increase educational efforts. To inform everyone from restaurants to retailers that we need to take further precautions."

Luke says Augusta received a federal grant that will cover the cost of testing through October.

Countries such as Germany, Finland, and the Netherlands are using wastewater surveillance to track COVID-19, and some public health experts in the United States have called for a national wastewater testing program. The virus has been found in individuals' stool samples before symptoms develop.

Updated 2:05 p.m. July 24, 2020