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Wastewater tests show elevated levels of COVID-19 in Lucas County

The health department has issued an alert for residents of Holland, Maumee, Waterville, Whitehouse, and other limited incorporated portions of the county.

TOLEDO, Ohio — The Toledo-Lucas County Health Department issued an alert to residents of certain areas in the county after wastewater studies showed elevated levels of fragments of the virus that causes COVID-19. 

Increases of fragments may be an early indicator that cases of COVID-19 in the community may intensify for residents in the plant's service area including Holland, Maumee, Waterville, Whitehouse, and other limited portions of unincorporated Lucas County. These communities should be on alert and continue to practice social distancing, wearing face coverings, and good hand-washing hygiene to limit COVID-19 exposures and infections.

In an effort to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19, a network across Ohio is studying wastewater samples, looking for the presence of fragments from SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for causing COVID-19. 

The health department has started to use that data along with community case numbers and other statistics to further inform decisions made in response to the pandemic.

In the most recent data, the Toledo Bay View Park WWTP and Oregon WWTP show a marked increase in virus fragments. However, the Lucas County Water Resource Recovery Facility plant has reported a significant increase of 153% in fragments. 

Additionally, health department leaders are reminding the public about the preventive guidelines to help slow the spread of the coronavirus: avoiding large gatherings of people, appropriate social distancing, wearing face coverings, and frequent hand-washing.

For additional local data and details on the network in charge of monitoring Ohio's wastewater, click here.

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