At this point, a lot of people can say that they've had the experience of being tested for COVID.  But now, they're starting to test in a whole new way.

If you've experienced symptoms of COVID, maybe you've tried to travel during the pandemic, or you needed to provide a negative COVID test for an event that you were going to, you may have needed to go through the testing process.  In many cases, it was a long swab that was pushed up your nose.

Now, they're testing in a whole new way.

They're testing our wastewater

Erie County announced yesterday that they're starting to test for COVID in our county sewers.  It's been shown that if we have the virus, we actually "shed" it through our stool.  I know...it's kind of gross to talk about, but it's an interesting way to find out how much COVID is still in our community.

Why test the water instead of the people?

Not everyone gets tested...but everyone uses the bathroom.  Well...just about everyone.  According to the CDC's website, "COVID-19 vaccines are effective at keeping you from getting COVID-19. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine will also help keep you from getting seriously ill even if you do get COVID-19."  So even if you are fully vaccinated and do somehow still get COVID, your symptoms might not be enough to alert you to the fact that you are infected (and therefore could pass it on to someone who is not vaccinated).

Plus, this method can help them find clusters of areas that could be infected.  This testing method is widespread, it's anonymous, and doesn't require an uncomfortable swab up the nose.

Are we the first to do this test?

Nope.  It's been done all over the world, from France to Hong Kong and now here in Erie County.  For more info on what exactly happens in the lab and how that data is then quantified, click here.

Stores That Have Lifted Their Mask Mandate (updated)

Here are stores that have (currently) lifted their mask mandates.