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Wastewater (sewage) can be tested to detect traces of infectious diseases circulating in a community, even if people don’t have symptoms. You can use these data as an early warning that levels of infections may be increasing or decreasing in your community.

COVID-19 Current Wastewater Viral Activity Levels Map

COVID-19 NWSS Wastewater Monitoring in the U.S.

This interactive map shows current viral activity levels of SARS-COV-2 in wastewater.

This map shows the median Wastewater Viral Activity Level of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) reported by wastewater treatment plants within each state or territory over the previous week. Wastewater monitoring can detect viruses spreading from one person to another within a community earlier than clinical testing and before people who are sick go to their doctor or hospital. It can also detect infections without symptoms. If you see increased Wastewater Viral Activity Levels of SARS-CoV-2, it might indicate that there is a higher risk of infection. See how to protect yourself from respiratory viruses like COVID-19.

The Wastewater Viral Activity Level shows changes in SARS-CoV-2 virus levels in wastewater compared to the baseline level for each wastewater treatment plant. The Wastewater Viral Activity Levels are categorized into minimal, low, moderate, high, or very high as follows:

  • Less than 1.5 – Minimal
  • Greater than 1.5 and up to 3 – Low
  • Greater than 3 and up to 4.5 – Moderate
  • Greater than 4.5 and up to 8 – High
  • Greater than 8 – Very High

For more information, see Data Methods.

States and territories may have a higher density of sampling sites in certain geographic areas, so the median Wastewater Viral Activity Level may not represent the wastewater viral activity level for every community in the state or territory.

A label of “Insufficient Data” means that there is not a sufficient quantity of data, at least 6 weeks, to estimate the Wastewater Viral Activity Level in the last week. To see the sites reporting for each state or territory, see Wastewater Surveillance on COVID Data Tracker.