In an announcement made by AZ Governor Ducey’s office on January 6, 2021, an innovative partnership will receive $500K to provide early detection of COVID-19 through wastewater testing in Yuma County.
As stated in the January news release:
The project is a partnership with Yuma County Public Health Services District, the University of Arizona, and the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS). It builds on the success of wastewater testing at University of Arizona dormitories to identify potential outbreaks, and will help the county further understand how wastewater testing may be used to inform public health in rural Arizona communities.
The testing pilot program will collect wastewater samples twice-per-week in locations across Yuma County and test for COVID-19. The University of Arizona’s Yuma Center of Excellence for Desert Agriculture will analyze the samples at its Yuma lab, and share data with public health officials.
Prior to the announcement, researchers at the Water & Energy Sustainable Technology (WEST) Center worked with project leaders to prepare them to utilize wastewater testing procedures for the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). The University of Arizona's Yuma Center of Excellence for Desert Agriculture (YCEDA) will provide wastewater analysis; other key stakeholders include public health officials, the county, municipalities, tribal nations, and sites located in Yuma County (schools, prisons, processing facilities, and others).
For more information about the wastewater testing project, contact Dr. Paul Brierley, Executive Director of YCEDA, at email@example.com.
To read more details about the COVID-19 monitoring program in Yuma County, see the Yuma Sun article published January 8, 2021 (bottom, pg. 1).