UC San Diego says it detected traces of the novel coronavirus in five areas of campus over the weekend after it greatly expanded its search for the pathogen in wastewater samples drawn from dozens of buildings.
The positive tests could involve as many as 14 residence halls and two laundries. But school officials also said Tuesday the findings also could represent only a small number of sites and very few infections.
The virus is present in a person’s feces during the early phase of their infection, making the wastewater from restrooms an ideal place to look for traces of the pathogen. Contact tracing can then be used to try to find infected people.
The university issued a statement Tuesday that said that anyone who used bathrooms in the 14 dorms and two laundry rooms between 11 a.m. Sunday and 1 p.m. on Monday should be tested for COVID-19.