COVID-19 monitoring in wastewater

Updated February 8, 2024

Available languages: Español

Wastewater treatment plant with Colorado front range in the background

The state collaborates with labs and wastewater utilities statewide to test for COVID-19 virus particles in wastewater. The virus can appear in stool before someone shows any symptoms. People who don’t show symptoms also can shed the virus. Testing wastewater can give health officials early warnings about increases or decreases in COVID-19 cases within a community. With this information, health officials can:

  • Increase resource capacity in the community if there is an increase in cases. 
  • Re-evaluate local public health policy if there is a change in case rate.
  • Use information to track virus trends across communities.
  • Identify the presence of variants of concern.

View the latest wastewater sample data and learn more about the science in our FAQ.