Tempe was at the forefront of wastewater testing for COVID-19, other emerging health crises
As COVID-19 infections began to spread, Tempe was among the first cities to be provided a warning system for the spread of the virus. ASU’s Center for Environmental Health Engineering, directed by Fulton Schools Professor Rolf Halden, had been tracking the use of opioids in the city using the center’s wastewater monitoring capabilities, but switched its focus to COVID in the early days of the pandemic. Halden says the center was the first in the world to not only measure COVID spread but to show how the virus was moving through communities. That enabled city officials to ramp up health resources in reaction to COVID outbreaks. Today, the center has the capabilities to also monitor the spread of other diseases and health risks, including diabetes, cancer, polio and obesity.
See also: World’s first open access dashboard reveals neighboor-level trands of COVID-19 from wastewater, ASU News, December 8
ASU researchers turning to Tempe wastewater to track community’s health, December 13, 3TV/CBS 5 News-Phoenix