Using poop to get the scoop on Stafford’s COVID infection rates

With the recent surge in COVID-19 infection rates, one Northern Virginia county is using an unusual method for a better idea of how widespread the coronavirus is in its population.

Biobot Analytics recently tested wastewater in Stafford County and found 227.5 cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 residents.

Jan. 12 data of samples in Stafford, Virginia, from Biobot. (Courtesy Biobot)

That’s a lot higher than the company’s same analysis of wastewater across the southern U.S., where the case rate came in lower, at 196.1 cases per 100,000.

Because of a shortage of COVID tests, many communities are turning to this kind of analysis to track infections.

Biobot co-founder Newsha Ghaeli told NBC News that “every time an infected person uses the toilet, they’re flushing this information down the toilet.”

Nationwide, the wastewater tests show infections at 205.9 cases per 100,000.


More Coronavirus News

Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.

Kyle Cooper

Anchor and reporter Kyle Cooper, has been with WTOP since 1992. Over those 25 years Kyle has worked as a street reporter, editor and anchor. Prior to WTOP Kyle worked at several radio stations in Indiana, and at the Indianapolis Star Newspaper.

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