UNH testing campus sewage as part of virus surveillance

The University of New Hampshire is testing sewage on campus as part of its surveillance for the coronavirus.

The sampling will be used in addition to twice-weekly nasal tests.

“Sewage sampling can be a valuable surveillance tool because it can provide an early warning to possible infection hot spots on campus and help identify areas where the virus may be present but not detected in individuals because they aren’t showing symptoms,” said Paula Mouser, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering.

Traces of the virus's genetic material can be found in human sewage. The samples will be taken from manholes, each representing wastewater from a grouping of two to five dorms.

There are 10 residence hall groups being tested, representing 4,400 students.

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RESTAURANT CLOSED

A North Country restaurant has closed for a deep cleaning after two staffers tested positive for COVID-19.

“We could stay open, but for safety reasons we are just going to shut down for a couple of weeks and clean and give the staff a chance to self-monitor,” Rick Nadig, owner of the Black Bear Tavern Sports and Restaurant in Colebrook, told the Caledonian-Record on Monday.

Nadig, who has over 20 staffers, said state health officials recommend that anyone at the tavern for the past week and a half to monitor their health.

___ THE NUMBERS

As of Wednesday, 10,641 people had tested positive for the virus in New Hampshire, an increase of 113 from the previous day. Three new deaths were announced, bringing the total to 478.

The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in New Hampshire has increased over the past two weeks from 78 new cases per day on Oct. 13 to 100 new cases per day on Oct. 27.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, or death.