Columbia Tests Wastewater in Residence Halls for Coronavirus

“Wastewater analysis is a simple, yet sophisticated way, to shed light on infectious disease transmission in a community,” said Wafaa El-Sadr, who oversees the Public Health Committee for the University COVID-19 Task Force. “It can provide an early warning signal for the presence of COVID-19 cases, leading to the rapid mobilization of a response.”

The pilot program, spearheaded by El-Sadr, an infectious disease specialist and professor at the Mailman School of Public Health, is a collaborative effort involving the Office of Facilities and Operations, Columbia Health, and a research team at Columbia School of Engineering, led by Kartik Chandran, a global expert in sustainable wastewater management and sanitation.

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