With residents fervently hoping Massachusetts can avoid a flareup of the deadly coronavirus, officials are now on high alert for signs of an uptick in infections. One unusual place they’re monitoring: people’s toilets. The Massachusetts Water Resources Authority says it is analyzing the sewage from Eastern Massachusetts at the Deer Island treatment plant through the end of the year.
The idea is that studying the wastewater could provide an “early warning system tracking trends and potentially predicting a second wave of COVID-19,” the disease caused by the coronavirus, the authority said in a recent statement.
The coronavirus pandemic, which has swept across the world, has killed more than 8,100 people in Massachusetts. The outbreak reached its peak here in the spring and is now subsiding. But dozens of other states, particularly in the South and West, are now grappling with their own surges of cases and deaths.