UPDATED: May 25, 2022
The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has organized a consortium to monitor and track the evolution of SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19 in Nebraska. The Nebraska Genomics Consortium consists of DHHS, local health departments, and a network of laboratories including the Nebraska Public Health Laboratory (NPHL), Creighton University, CHI Health Laboratory, and the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Public Health.
Genomic surveillance provides valuable information to scientists, doctors, and public health officials. This information is used to:
View the Genomic Surveillance Report
Wastewater Surveillance in Nebraska
The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services is collaborating with the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Public Health, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and wastewater utilities across Nebraska to monitor SARS-CoV-2 virus in wastewater.
Wastewater surveillance data is meant to supplement existing COVID-19 surveillance metrics (i.e. case data, hospitalization data) to evaluate trends to inform public health response. Wastewater surveillance data might give health officials early warnings about increases or decreases in COVID-19 cases within a community. Public health departments can use this and other surveillance data to evaluate trends and guide response.
The data presented in the Wastewater Surveillance Report graph show the concentration of SARS-CoV-2 in the units of copies per liter in the area from which the wastewater was collected. This area is known as a 'sewershed' or 'catchment area', which is the community area served by a wastewater collection system.
Wastewater surveillance is an emerging public health tool. There is evidence that the quantity of SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater is correlated with infections in the wastewater sewershed area.
It is important to note that wastewater testing results do not allow for reliable estimates or predictions on the prevalence of COVID-19 infection in the wastewater catchment area.