COVID found in Tuscarawas County wastewater systems

COVID found in Tuscarawas County wastewater systems

Image Credit: File

A network across Ohio is studying samples of wastewater to look for the presence of fragments from the COVID-19 virus that cause the disease. An upward trend in viral fragments has been detected for a second time in the Tuscarawas County wastewater systems. This trend is an early indicator that cases of COVID-19 in the community may be increasing.

The Tuscarawas County Health Department received notice from the Ohio Department of Health that local wastewater monitoring has revealed increased viral levels for a second time.

TCHD received the first wastewater monitoring advisory report on Friday, Nov. 12. The number of newly reported COVID-19 cases per week in Tuscarawas County increased by 49% — from 247 new cases per week to 367 new cases per week — in the two weeks after the Nov. 12 notification.

Residents should be on alert and continue with their efforts to social distance, wear face coverings and adhere to prevention efforts such as frequent hand-washing. Those who are not vaccinated against COVID-19 ought to consider getting vaccinated as soon as possible. If you are eligible for a booster vaccine, it is recommended you receive one as soon as possible.

If you have symptoms consistent with COVID-19, you should consider getting tested and stay home and away from others for 10 days from symptom onset if possible. If you take an at-home COVID-19 test, report positive results to the health department.

Drive-up testing is available by appointment through the Tuscarawas County Health Department by calling 330-343-5555 ext. 174 or 181. Phone lines are open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Other testing locations can be found at www.coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/dashboards/other-resources/testing-ch-centers.

The wastewater monitoring initiative is a collaboration between the Ohio Department of Health, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Ohio Water Resources Center at the Ohio State University, and other participating universities including the University of Toledo, Kent State University and the University of Akron.