Smart Talk: Testing sewage for COVID-19 is another tool for disease monitoring

Listen to Smart Talk every weekday at 9am and 7pm on WITF 89.5 & 93.3. You can also stream WITF radio live on our website or ask your smart speaker to “Play WITF Radio.”

 

Airdate: 12/16/20

In June, sewage testing found that Dauphin County may have had at least ten times more COVID-19 cases than reported by the Pennsylvania Department of Health. That was one of the findings in sewage tests taken by an MIT research firm — Biobot Analytics.

Those findings were conducted by Capital Region Water, one of about 400 systems across the country participating in this kind of testing, and they have recently been accepted into a CDC trial on wastewater surveillance. The goal of the trial is to detect the presence of COVID-19, monitor trends, and then alert healthcare officials of potential hotspots or viral surges.

The virus can be detected in human waste and that includes those who may have contracted the coronavirus but didn’t show any symptoms. Wastewater-based disease surveillance is a rapidly developing science that has gained momentum during the pandemic.

Appearing Wednesday’s Smart Talk to discuss joining the CDC research trial and their surveillance program are Charlotte Katzenmoyer, CEO of Capital Region Water and Jess Rosentel, Director of Wastewater Operations, Capital Region Water. 

Adult Day Service Centers are closed in Pa, leaving vulnerable seniors with few options

For many seniors and families in Pennsylvania, Adult Day service centers are an invaluable part of their lives. Adult day services, also called adult care, are usually open during normal work hours. Unlike senior centers — which are usually sponsored by recreational departments and targeted at healthy older adults — adult day services are a resource for people with physical limitations or limited functioning like memory loss.

The majority of these centers in Pennsylvania closed in March leaving vulnerable seniors largely forgotten.

Leslie Gilman, is the president of PA Adult Day Services Association and she appears on Smart Talk to discuss the impact these closures are having on seniors.

Local author’s debut book lands at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list

Hummelstown resident and author Kate Baer’s debut book of poetry WHAT KIND OF WOMAN achieved a huge milestone on release – #1 on the New York Times Bestseller list. Baer appears on Smart Talk to share her story and world that inspires her poetry.

“In these confident and fearless poems, Baer suggests that the deepest and most vulnerable love is found in life’s imperfections.” Review, Publishers Weekly

 

 

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