Juneau: CBJ Wastewater Tracking Data Shows Upward Trend in COVID Virus Presence
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~ The City and Borough of Juneau (CBJ) has been participating in a voluntary tracking program, in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to monitor wastewater for the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus since September 2022. As of March 9, data obtained through this program is trending relatively high.

The program was initially implemented in late 2020, but was suspended due to cost concerns. However, with the support of federal subsidies, CBJ resumed participation in September 2022. Wastewater tracking is conducted by analyzing samples collected from local treatment plants for the presence of SARS-CoV-2—the virus that causes COVID-19. This method focuses on sampling wastewater because people infected with COVID-19 shed viral genetic material in their feces whether or not they are displaying symptoms.

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Twice a week, samples are collected from CBJ's Mendenhall and Juneau Douglas Wastewater Treatment Plants and sent to environmental or public health laboratories for testing. The laboratory then reports the testing data to CBJ and the CDC. As of March 9, viral material has been detected in increasing concentration over several tests and is at its highest levels since sampling resumed in September 2022.

CBJ does not intend to require any mitigation measures at this time; however, this information is provided for community awareness and to aid Juneau residents in their personal decision-making. For more information about the CDC's voluntary wastewater tracking program, please visit their NWSS website or view similar data submitted from communities nationwide on their COVID data tracker. For technical information about CBJ's wastewater tracking program, contact Chad Gubala at (907) 586-0393 .

Filed Under: Government, City

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