Health leaders report spike in COVID-19 found in wastewater in Marshfield, Mo.

Published: Apr. 21, 2021 at 11:46 AM CDT
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MARSHFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Data from the city of Marshfield’s wastewater treatment plant forced health leaders to host a COVID-19 testing opportunity on Wednesday.

The city participated in the Sewer Shed Surveillance Project. Health leaders say recent test results from the Marshfield wastewater plant showed an increase in the presence of the coronavirus. The amount, however, is much lower than at the peak of the pandemic. It showed a bit of a spike around the end of March, beginning of April, and the level of coronavirus in the wastewater has not dropped back to its previous level.

At the peak of that recent spike, health leaders say there was enough virus to determine it was the UK Variant, but in the weeks since, they haven’t been able to determine what strain is in the wastewater.

“That means there were a certain number of people,” said Scott Allen, Webster County Health Administrator. “We don’t know how many, but there were some people in the area that had the virus, may or may not have known they were sick. It could have been asymptomatic, and that’s why that testing today is so important, because we really want to get a handle on if we’re having a symptomatic spread starting back up in this area.”

Wednesday’s free event at the Webster County Fairgrounds did not require pre-registration. Test results should come back in a day or two. Health leaders plan another testing event Wednesday, April 28.

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