10:55 am - 12:35 pm

The Potential for Practice: COVID-19 Wastewater Surveillance

Dr. Alex Chik
Ontario Clean Water Agency

Katrina Hitchman
Canadian Water Network

Alexander Swirski
Durham Region Health Department

Mary-Anne Pietrusiak
Durham Region Health Department

Moderated by Dr. Wendy Pons
Conestoga College

Monitoring for SARS CoV-2 fragments in wastewater (WW) was developed early in the pandemic with the intent of supporting surveillance for COVID-19.  This included an unprecedented level of cooperation and collaboration among academic researchers, wastewater utilities, and public health officials. In Canada, as of April 2022, there were at least 156 sites where wastewater surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 had been performed. The potential uses for these data include better understanding community prevalence and trends of COVID-19, providing early warning indicators for an increase in numbers of cases, identification of “hot spots” or institutional outbreaks, identifying areas in need of increased clinical testing, tracking the arrival and spread of new variants, informing public messaging, and alerting the public about rising case numbers.

This presentation will discuss the advancements, potential, and uses of SARS CoV-2 wastewater surveillance from three perspectives. This presentation will hear from:

The Canadian Water Network, which established the COVID-19 Wastewater Coalition to improve the ability of the science to inform public health, will discuss WW surveillance in Canada.

The Ontario Clean Water Agency to discuss the evolution and current status of technical considerations of WW sampling, including how representative samples are collected, analyzed, evaluated for quality before further interpretation.

The Durham Region Health department will provide the public health perspective about how and where the potential has been realized in terms of utility of wastewater surveillance information from those who have had WW analysis experiences and the uptake of results.

Quick Info

  • September 14, 2022
  • 10:55 am - 12:35 pm
  • Main Ballroom