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University of Arizona Used Wastewater Testing to Detect Cases of Coronavirus in a Dorm

As 5,000 students prepared for move-in day at the University of Arizona this week, the school warned they would be tested periodically for the coronavirus. One test, though, doesn’t involve a nose swab. The university is regularly screening the sewage from each dorm, searching for traces of the virus.

On Thursday, officials said the technique worked — and possibly prevented a sizable outbreak on campus. When a wastewater sample from one dorm came back positive this week, the school quickly tested all 311 people who live and work there and found two asymptomatic students who tested positive. They were quickly quarantined.

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