Lab Matters Winter 2023 | Page 23

ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH gap , particularly since utility sewersheds with smaller populations are likely to have less signal dilution than in larger sewersheds with more wastewater inputs . In Jackson County , Mathematica was able to interpret this high-quality granular data into definitive results that informed risk messaging to the public . Clear communications were then developed to target resources for public health action .
Transparent , Timely and Targeted Communications
The key to wastewater surveillance success is establishing communication patterns that earn the residents ’ trust , resulting in meaningful public health action . Mathematica created short memos and weekly emails to share plain-language summaries of patterns in the data , and has also developed a series of briefs on best practices . To explain community risk based on wastewater surveillance data , the Ouray County Public Health Agency released transparent social media posts developed to be easily understood .
Both Mathematica ’ s and Colorado ’ s experiences have shown wastewater surveillance can be successful in rural areas when specific considerations are accounted for and addressed , yielding valuable and actionable information that is beneficial to public health . Mathematica ’ s success in North Carolina led to Jackson County being one of the first rural communities to be included in the state ’ s program expansion and in Colorado , Ouray County Public health agency used wastewater data to
References :
1 . Bureau UC . Rates of Uninsured Fall in Rural Counties , Remain Higher Than Urban Counties . Accessed February 8 , 2022 . https :// www . census . gov / library / stories / 2019 / 04 / health-insurance-ruralamerica . html
effectively message their community about disease risk , proving wastewater surveillance can be successfully executed in a rural community . g
APHL . org
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