MAYVILLE – Health leaders in Chautauqua County got the go ahead to test wastewater for COVID-19 during Wednesday’s legislature meeting.
After much debate, lawmakers voted to move forward with the surveillance program 16 to 2, with Legislators John Davis and Bob Scudder opposed.
While the program is not mandated, some lawmakers believe that this testing is how we stay ahead of the curve and stay on top of public health incidents.
An amendment was proposed to limit the number of samples collected from publicly owned treatment plants. After the pilot program ceases at the end of July, spreadsheet reports would be rolled out.
Lawmakers plan to use $2 million in grant money from the State Department of Health to fund the program. They originally planned to use American Rescue Plan money.
Previously wastewater testing was used to detect viruses like Polio and Hepatitis. County health officials first discussed the idea during a Board of Health meeting earlier this year.