The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has selected Biobot Analytics to expand the agency's National Wastewater Surveillance System (NWSS), an integral part of President Biden's plan to fight COVID-19 and prepare the country for future pandemics. NWSS works with public health departments across the country to track SARS-CoV-2 levels in wastewater so communities can act quickly to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The Biden Administration recognizes wastewater monitoring as a predictive indicator of new cases as well as an inclusive public health tool. Dr. Ashish Jha, the White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator, wrote that wastewater monitoring "can give us early insights into rising case rates and help us track infections in the community."
Over the next year, the CDC will work with Biobot to collect and analyze wastewater samples from 500 communities across the country to gather SARS-CoV-2 data. This builds upon Biobot's previous work with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to make wastewater monitoring accessible to communities in all U.S. states, territories, and tribal nations.
"We're thrilled that the CDC, with support from Congress and the Administration, recognizes the tremendous value of wastewater monitoring and has expanded the country's efforts. This program will allow hundreds of local communities to benefit from this novel technology, and we're proud to be the U.S. government's trusted partner in this deployment," said Newsha Ghaeli, Biobot President & Cofounder.
Founded in 2017, Biobot is an MIT research project spin-off. They envision wastewater monitoring as a permanent part of our sewer infrastructure and urban fabric, with wastewater data continuously used to inform inclusive and proactive public health decision-making.