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Researchers head to wastewater plant in Ontario for clues about virus

Jacobs Engineering technician Sam Jeffryes talks about a testing program sponsored by Oregon State University that may help local health officials detect Covid before the infection reaches epidemic levels. (The Enterprise/Pat Caldwell).

ONTARIO – A new Covid testing program sponsored by Oregon State University may help cities and health officials detect a Covid outbreak before cases of the infection reach epidemic levels.

The Coronavirus Sewer Surveillance program will soon extend to cities across the state, including Ontario, because of a $1.2 million grant from the Oregon Health Authority.

The two-year program will eventually include 43 treatment plants around Oregon that serve more than 6,000 people each and is seen by officials as a key tool to measuring the prevalence of the disease within a city.

“What it can do, and it has . . .