Wastewater study shows spread of COVID-19 moderate in most regions

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Wastewater treatment plant in Tallinn. Source: Tallinna Vesi

The latest results of the wastewater monitoring study by the University of Tartu confirm that the coronavirus has spread evenly across Estonia over the last week. There are no settlements with major outbreaks in Estonia and there are fewer locations with smaller outbreaks, as well.

According to the study's leader, Professor Tanel Tenson, the amount of coronavirus is greater in Harju County and southern Estonia when compared to the average national index.

This week, wastewater samples were gathered from a total of 60 locations, including smaller cities and settlements. "We can see from the results that the virus is spreading faster in larger settlements. In smaller places, the situation is largely calm," Tenson explained.

University of Tartu's coronavirus wastewater survey results map. Source: University of Tartu

The university says its study helps Health Board to monitor changes in the outbreak dynamics, and to discover hidden outbreaks, giving early information which can be used in estimating the spread of the virus before clinical cases are detected.

The Health Board is regularly informed of the results. 

The university cooperates with the Estonian Environmental Research Centre and local water authorities. The samples are analyzed at the laboratories of the University of Tartu Institute of Technology.

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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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