New Castle County’s new approach to tracking coronavirus estimates the amount of positive cases is more widespread than state testing has revealed. The strategy stems from a partnership between New Castle County Public Works and a Massachusetts Institute of Technology startup called Biobot Analytics. The startup searches wastewater samples for fragments of COVID-19 to estimate how many people in an area have the virus.
Back in mid-April, samples from the Wilmington Wastewater Treatment Plant, which catches sewage from over 400,000 people across New Castle County, were sent to MIT for analysis by Biobot. The April 14 sample showed a large disparity between the number of laboratory-confirmed cases and the number of infected individuals estimated by Biobot. Read more about Biobot’s (client) COVID-19 testing here.