City Council Meeting - FINAL
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Stacy Saltzburg, City Clerk
Consideration and Direction:
Expenditure of less than $50,000 for wastewater testing for COVID-19 at public schools
STAFF RECOMMENDED ACTION:
Discussion and Possible Direction
Below is a summary of the proposal provided by Mayor Deasy.
The purpose of the proposed work is to monitor SARS-CoV-2 throughout Flagstaff as well as in populations that do not yet have the choice to be vaccinated, and where the rollout may be slow due to vaccination hesitancy.
With funds provided by the City of Flagstaff, they will sample the wastewater once weekly at all elementary and middle schools within the Flagstaff Unified School District, the Wildcat and Rio de Flag wastewater treatment plant facilities, and at charter schools that agree to also be sampled (FALA has requested this service already, and we will reach out to others once funding is secured). We will provide results to the site within 72 hours of pulling samples.
The goal of this work is to provide proactive information to each site so that they can better enforce or alter their mitigation strategies. For example, a school that has a high viral load in wastewater may better enforce masks in the classroom, or the school nurse could more actively search for children that should undergo rapid testing to isolate cases.
Covid can be found in wastewater before it reaches viral load to be transmitted to others.
Wastewater treatment plant testing would help the city understand what the viral load may be one week ahead of time. In addition, if viral load is high enough in any given sample, they will submit the sample for genomic sequencing and try to determine which variants of concern are present.
Attached you will find a Proposal Summary and Budget Justification documents provided.
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