Initial results from a new testing program that uses sewage to estimate the spread of COVID-19 in Erie County shows numbers far higher than originally believed.
The testing, from a company called Biobot, finds elements of the virus in human stool. It will identify positives even if there are no symptoms or traditional swab testing.
The information shows COVID-19 numbers quadrupled during Erie County’s yellow phase. The last sample showing numbers in excess of 20,000 cases.
Dr. Howard Nadworny, a retired infectious disease doctor, predicts those number will continue to grow in the less restrictive green phase.
“Where people are not doing the few things that work, we are going to be seeing it spreading faster, and we will eventually see more people in the hospital, and we will eventually see more people dying,” said Dr. Nadworny.
Dr. Nadworny believes that Erie County’s numbers were down at first because the elderly and immune compromised took the threat seriously.