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Wastewater Surveillance

By Preston Sam

Wastewater surveillance is an innovative solution that is proving to be a valuable tool for detecting COVID-19. It works by analyzing the sewage of communities for the presence of the virus and can provide early warning signals of outbreaks before they become widespread.




Wastewater testing in the Cree Nation is used as an early-warning detection system for SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19).

  • Project started on July 28, 2021.

  • Community-driven project that community leaders requested.

  • Supported by National Microbiology Laboratory



When working in a COVID-19 laboratory, strict protocols must be followed to ensure the safety of workers and prevent the spread of the virus. This typically includes wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves, masks, gowns, and safety goggles.

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Methods & Lab Instruments

At our laboratory, we use a combination of advanced instruments to detect the presence of SARS-CoV-2 virus accurately and efficiently in wastewater samples.

  • Variable Volume Micropipettes

  • Hematocrit Centrifuge

  • Patented Cartridge Technology

  • GeneXpert PCR Technology



In 2021, Wastewater testing was a new approach to an early warning system for detecting COVID-19 outbreaks. The method involves analyzing sewage samples for the presence of the virus and using that information to identify potential outbreaks before they become widespread. This approach has several advantages, including the ability to detect outbreaks early and monitor the spread of the virus in communities.

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