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University of Minnesota begins testing dorm sewage for COVID-19 at Twin Cities, Duluth campuses


September 21, 2020

University of Minnesota researchers are testing residence hall sewage for COVID-19 on the Twin Cities and Duluth campuses in hopes of catching cases early and preventing outbreaks among students.

The U is among a growing number of colleges nationwide experimenting with sewage testing as a public health tool that could help keep campuses open through fall semester. The University of Arizona and Utah State University recently quarantined and tested hundreds of students after dorm wastewater samples led to the discovery of undetected COVID-19 cases.

The technology, as shown in a dorm case on the Arizona campus in August, could establish wastewater epidemiology as a leading indicator for disease outbreaks, even when those affected are asymptomatic.


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