Building capacity in support of wastewater-based epidemiology to aid public health decision-making in southwestern Ontario

Novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an acute respiratory disease induced by SARS-CoV-2. To date >1,000,000 deaths have been reported worldwide. Although testing capacity has expanded, Canada still faces challenges to realizing wider scale testing. A promising alternative to large-scale population testing in Canada may lie literally beneath our feet in our municipal sewer systems. This Mitacs program will measure SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA signal in wastewater system to track the trends in community infections of Windsor-Essex area and expand into London-Middlesex region.

Development of a robust armoured RNA standard for the rapid clinical diagnosis of COVID-19

COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the novel SARS corona virus, has been a global threat for months now. The pandemic has crippled global healthcare sectors and economies. Early, rapid, and accurate detection of the contagion is critical for isolating infected patients to prevent further community spread. Currently, most communities in Canada suffer from insufficient testing capabilities, and as the need for testing increases, the added volume will produce a proportional amount of unreliable results.