The Houston Health Department launched an online public dashboard Wednesday tracking the level of SARS-CoV-2 – the virus that causes COVID-19 – in city’s wastewater, according to a news release from the department.
Released in collaboration with Rice University, the city said the dashboard will display levels of the virus in samples collected from the city’s 39 wastewater treatment plants as well as many Houston ISD schools to help identify the prevalence of the virus and trends at a local level.
The dashboard will be color-coded by the level of viral load in wastewater samples and be labeled with arrow symbols representing the trend, the city said, and will plot viral load levels against the positivity rate.
Dr. Loren Hopkins, chief environmental science officer for the health department and professor in the practice of statistics at Rice, said a high level of virus in your neighborhood’s wastewater means it is spreading locally and that more stringent safety measures should be taken.
“This new dashboard is another tool Houstonians can use to gauge the situation and make informed decisions to protect their families,” Hopkins said in the release.
Community members can find the COVID-19 wastewater monitoring dashboard, vaccination sites, testing sites and more information at houstonemergency.org/covid19.