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ANSI COVID-19 News: Wastewater Data Show COVID on the Rise, Home Test to Treat Program Expands

1/12/2024

CDC Wastewater Data Show Uptick in COVID-19

Current data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Wastewater Surveillance System (NWSS) reveal that nationally, the wastewater viral activity level for COVID-19 is very high. The CDC also reports that the Midwest has the highest wastewater viral activity level for COVID-19.

The NWSS tests wastewater (sewage) to detect traces of infectious diseases circulating in communities. The wastewater monitoring data is intended to aid local public health agencies in identifying outbreak trends early, and direct prevention efforts to where they are most needed. The data also provide additional insight into disease spread.

As part of its ongoing efforts to support wastewater surveillance for monitoring biological and chemical contaminants, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is working with stakeholders to identify and develop measurement-based solutions and standards. Dr. Alshae Logan-Jackson, a microbiologist at NIST, writes about high-quality wastewater testing in a 2023 blog post.

Access more national and regional COVID-19 wastewater trends via the CDC.

NIH-Funded Home Test to Treat Program Expands

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) reports that the federal government has expanded the NIH-funded Home Test to Treat program to eligible people nationwide. Home Test to Treat is a virtual community health program that offers free COVID-19 health services: at-home rapid tests, telehealth sessions, and at-home treatments for eligible participants nationwide.

With its expansion, the program will offer free testing, telehealth, and treatment for both COVID-19 and for influenza (flu) A and B. The program, announced by the White House in 2022, is part of the Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx®) Tech program that was launched to speed development and use of COVID-19 testing technologies.

Any adult 18 years or older who has a positive test for COVID-19 or flu can register at the Home Test to Treat website to receive free telehealth care and at-home treatment if prescribed. Prescribed medications can be delivered directly to homes or picked up at a local pharmacy. NIH reports that the program initially will provide the LUCIRA® by Pfizer COVID-19 & Flu Home Test, the first U.S. Food and Drug Administration-authorized test that can detect both viruses in a single test at home.

Access more information in NIH’s news announcement.

See more ANSI member efforts in the ANSI COVID-19 Resource Webpage Highlighting the Standardization Community’s Response.

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