RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina wastewater monitoring data will now be added to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s national COVID Data Tracker website.
According to the NC Department of Health and Human Services, individuals with COVID-19 shed viral particles of the virus that causes COVID-19 in their stool. However, these particles are no longer infectious in wastewater. The wastewater is then tested twice a week.
North Carolina was one of the first eight jurisdictions to submit data to the CDC’s National Wastewater Surveillance System.
In May 2021, the NC Department of Health and Human Services, in partnership with the University of North Carolina, started to monitor COVID-19 in wastewater.
One benefit of this kind of testing is that it allows the public to be tested without excluding those without symptoms or access to healthcare. This testing also costs a fraction of the cost of clinical COVID-19 testing while providing a greater picture of the increases and decreases of COVID-19 infection.
Approximately 50% of the state has wastewater treatment centers, which are required in order to perform these tests.
Twenty-four sites are now operating in North Carolina, and 12 new sites will be added shortly.