As part of its ongoing effort to ensure a safe and healthy campus community, Redeemer University has entered into a partnership with McMaster University’s W. Booth School of Engineering Practice and Technology to test wastewater originating from Redeemer’s campus.
While McMaster’s research project is tracking COVID-19 via wastewater to support its re-opening plans, collaboration with Redeemer is expected to provide useful information from a campus that is already open to students, faculty and staff, but closed to the general public. The project will provide Redeemer with specific and regular data about the presence of the virus on campus, serving as an early warning system and allowing for the implementation of remedial measures as necessary.
Redeemer has also joined the COVID-19 Wastewater Consortium of Ontario, a grass-roots initiative with members in industry, private labs, technology firms, government and universities which pool resources and expertise to best respond to current and future pandemics.
“This partnership will support our efforts to keep Redeemer safe and open, and also provides an opportunity to contribute to the larger community effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19,” said Ed Bosveld, Redeemer’s vice president, administration and finance.
Redeemer will take wastewater samples weekly, which McMaster will test and analyze. Testing will occur on Redeemer’s campus for up to one year. This is all part of the larger effort at Redeemer to mitigate the spread of the virus using layers of protection and a variety of tactics including physical distancing, protective barriers, ventilation improvements, increased cleaning, mask-wearing, daily symptom tracking and more. This past summer, Redeemer hired a campus care nurse, who tracks and monitors symptoms across campus and follows up with students, staff and faculty with any concerning trends. Recently, on-campus COVID testing also became available for Redeemer students who require it, as determined by the on-campus health and wellness centre.