Tippecanoe County, Purdue end wastewater surveillance testing for COVID-19

With COVID-19 cases steadily declining in Tippecanoe County, the Tippecanoe County Health Department, in collaboration with Purdue University, have announced that wastewater surveillance testing for COVID-19 will end as of today (Oct. 17).

Dr. Gregory Loomis, health officer at the Tippecanoe County Health Department, says the data from ongoing wastewater surveillance, operated by Biobot, has assisted with decision making and strategic planning when it comes to COVID-19. However, variability in the wastewater surveillance data has not always provided a good correlation between viral levels in West Lafayette wastewater and serious cases in the community, Loomis says, making the data less predictive of case surges.

“The good news is that we are seeing a steady and precipitous decline in cases, hospitalizations, and deaths nationwide,” Loomis said. “That is parallel to what we are seeing in Tippecanoe County and on Purdue’s campus.”

Tippecanoe County and Purdue University are relying on other monitoring and surveillance methods to assist with the treatment and severity of COVID-19, such as consumption of at-home tests, prescriptions for COVID-19 antivirals, and COVID-related inquiries to the County Health Department and Protect Purdue Health Center. 

The Protect Purdue Medical Advisory team continues to be guided by the latest science and medical expertise. Adhering to the Protect Purdue Pledge and protocols – including getting vaccinated or boosted against COVID-19 and staying home when feeling sick – will continue to allow us to meet this ongoing public health challenge with consideration for others.

The Protect Purdue Medical Advisory Team encourages the campus community to receive the updated COVID-19 booster. The Indiana State Department of Health maintains a list of sites providing the new bivalent booster here.