Skip to main content

Dr. Heather Morrison, chief medical officer for Prince Edward Island, speaks to the media on Dec. 16, 2020. Ms. Morrison says wastewater testing can serve as an early warning system for COVID-19 resurgence.Brian McInnis /The Canadian Press

Prince Edward Island says it will start testing wastewater in two cities for COVID-19.

The province’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Heather Morrison, says testing will begin Thursday in Charlottetown and Summerside.

Morrison says wastewater monitoring will allow health officials to maintain a high degree of surveillance over COVID-19 and variants of the coronavirus.

She says such testing can serve as an early warning system for COVID-19 resurgence.

Wastewater samples will be shipped to the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg for analysis.

Morrison says it will take up to five weeks before there is enough data to determine trends in the cities’ wastewater.

Sign up for the Coronavirus Update newsletter to read the day’s essential coronavirus news, features and explainers written by Globe reporters and editors.