Proof is in the poop: Bethlehem wastewater being tested for COVID-19

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Testing untreated wastewater for the coronavirus offers more concise data on a community’s viral caseload, as well as signs of potential outbreaks or hotspots before traditional testing shows an uptick in cases. Bethlehem’s water and sewer department, Lehigh University and St. Luke’s University Hospital have teamed up to test the city’s wastewater for COVID-19. Two Lehigh professors are leading the project: Kristen Jellison, associate professor in civil and environmental engineering, and Vassie Ware, professor in molecular biology. Lehigh University is funding the testing as part of a rapid tract of internal research grants related to the COVID-19 crisis.

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