Save the River/Upper St. Lawrence Riverkeeper has been recommending a program of testing wastewater for the novel coronavirus to the leaders of our riverfront communities. When properly administered, these relatively inexpensive tests can indicate the presence of the coronavirus in a community five to seven days prior to symptoms showing up in humans.
These programs were first developed in Europe and are now available at several labs and universities in the United States. A similar program is being tried in Watertown.
Clarkson University has now started one of these programs and is making it available to north country communities. According to a recent article in the Watertown Daily Times, “With the program now operational, the villages of Potsdam and Canton as well as St. Lawrence University, SUNY Canton and North Country School in Lake Placid are beginning to send their own wastewater samples to Clarkson for weekly or twice-weekly testing” (“Wastewater tested for virus: Program done at Clarkson ‘another layer of protection,’” Oct. 10).
Save the River urges our elected officials to contact Clarkson and begin such a program in our riverfront communities.
The writer is executive director of Save the River.