OSU detects U.K. covid variant found in Grants Pass wastewater

GRANTS PASS, Ore — A more contagious strain from the virus that causes coronavirus – first found in the U.K. has been detected in Grants Pass’ wastewater.

Through funding provided by the Oregon Health Authority, Oregon State University works with more than 50 wastewater treatment plants across the state. About once every week, the plants send testing samples to The Center for Genome Research and  Biocomputing at Oregon State University.

The week of March 8th, the Center received a sample showing traces of the variant only in Grants Pass and McMinnville so far. It has been reported to the Oregon Health Authority for follow up and further studies.

According to O.S.U., people infected with the coronavirus release particles of it through their waste.

A researcher with the department says the discovery serves as a reminder for people to continue to practice safety protocols.

“Right now is really important time to double down on those personal protective measures,” Brett Tyler who is the director at The Center for Genome Research and Biocomputing said. “Wear a mask, stay distanced, no parties inside.” 

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