Healthy Central Valley Together (HCVT) began in the summer of 2021 when partnerships were established between public health departments, wastewater facilities, and researchers at the University of California campuses in Davis and Merced. Together, we are using wastewater to generate data on community prevalence of COVID-19 that informs public health action in Merced, Stanislaus, and Yolo counties.
The team adopted the highly sensitive wastewater monitoring approach and methods developed by the Sewer Coronavirus Alert Network (SCAN). The HCVT team collaborates closely with SCAN, which is based at Stanford University. The project also builds on the wastewater monitoring program of Healthy Davis Together (HDT). The team selected Eurofins Pandemic Prevention Services for sample analysis, and worked together with Eurofins to establish a hub for wastewater monitoring in the Central Valley.
Dr. Heather N. Bischel is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at UC Davis. Bischel’s research aims to support public and environmental health through safe and effective water and wastewater management. In 2020, Bischel launched the wastewater-based disease surveillance program of Healthy Davis Together (HDT), a collaboration between the City of Davis and UC Davis to combat COVID-19. HDT’s wastewater-based epidemiology program’s overall success has earned national recognition, including mentions in WIRED, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post. Bischel is now working with partners at UC Merced to expand wastewater monitoring in three California counties through Healthy Central Valley Together.
Dr. Colleen C. Naughton is an Assistant Professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering at UC Merced. Her lab co-designs sustainable and culturally sensitive Food-Energy-Water Systems for the underserved nationally and globally. Dr. Naughton is the Principal Investigator behind the COVIDPoops19 global wastewater monitoring dashboard and Twitter account @COVIDPoops19. She is part of the Healthy Central Valley Together project expanding COVID-19 wastewater testing in the Central Valley of California for greater health equity. Dr. Naughton is also part of Wastewater SPHERE, a global data center for wastewater and SARS-CoV-2.
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