You just never know where signs of COVID-19 may pop up, and the state of Colorado is leaving no stone unturned.

According to the Denver Post, the state health department is teaming up with Colorado State University and Metro State University and 16 wastewater facilities to search for the coronavirus in human waste.

While sampling wastewater can't trace the presence of the virus to a particular household, they say it could give an early warning sign that COVID-19 infections are increasing - or possibly decreasing. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment says the virus can show up in feces about two days after infection occurs - and before symptoms begin to manifest.

Wastewater samples would be collected by utility employees before it enters a particular treatment plant and then analyzed by labs at the universities. State health officials would then use that information to determine what areas are showing the greatest impact of COVID-19.  More than 60% of Colorado residents are served by the participating utilities.

The wastewater sampling program is still in its early stages and it will be a few months before analysts can begin drawing conclusions. A similar testing program is already being used in countries like Germany, the Netherlands, and Finland.

Definitive results and conclusions won't be available for several months, which, to some, may make the program seem worthless. However, every indication is that the coronavirus is not going away anytime soon. Who knows, the program may end up being an instrumental weapon in the war on COVID-19.

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