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Why is wasterwater data used by the City of Milwaukee Health Department?

  • The COVID-19 virus can be found in feces days before sick people display symptoms if they display signs at all

  • Wastewater data makes it possible to see changes in COVID-19 cases before they happen

  • With common COVID-19 tests (i.e., at-home tests, clinical PCR tests), we can only see a rise in cases as it is happening

  • Knowing when cases are changing can give health agencies, clinics, and you a chance to prepare before a rise in COVID-19 cases is seen in clinics and hospitalization rates

  • An early warning can be used to decide COVID-19 response plans like where to place resources and staff to help reduce the impact of a rise in COVID-19 cases

  • The wastewater data also informs the COVID-19 Stoplight Warning system on the dashboard