Over the past six months, Quadrant Biosciences has been working in collaboration with New York State to develop and implement several COVID-19 detection projects.
These include a program to detect the SARS-CoV-2 RNA virus in wastewater, and a pooled testing program for New York colleges.
In a recent press release, Governor Cuomo announced these new testing initiatives and how he expects them to improve COVID-19 detection and control throughout New York State. Missed the announcement? No worries! You can read a summary of his release below.
Wastewater Detection Project Granted $500k for Pilot Program
Quadrant Biosciences has partnered with Syracuse University, SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry, SUNY Upstate Medical University, and engineering consulting firm Arcadis, to monitor the presence of SARS-CoV-2, the strand of RNA associated with COVID-19, in wastewater. We are currently monitoring wastewater in a number of municipalities and universities across New York State. Results of this surveillance technique can provide early warning of COVID-19 presence in the community, and guide public policy decision-making.
SUNY Pooled Testing Using Saliva Swabs
Quadrant Biosciences and SUNY Upstate Medical University have also teamed up to implement pooled sampling that’s currently being used in over 29 locations throughout New York, including Onondaga County and dozens of New York colleges.
With this method, up to 24 samples are collected and combined into a pooled batch. Once the sample is collected, it’s preserved in an RNA stabilizing solution until a full batch or pooled sample can be analysed. If the batch comes back negative, all individuals in that pool are presumed to not carry the SARS-CoV-2 RNA virus. If it comes back positive, everyone in that group will be individually tested. This approach provides a quick and cost effective way to test large groups of individuals. Moreover, rather than performing a nasal swab, an individual simply swabs between their cheek and gum line on each side of the mouth for 10 seconds.