Sustain Magazine



As the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic quickly spread from country to country and continent to continent in 2020, governments and scientists needed a way to track COVID-19 through populations in order to position public health interventions in the most impactful locations. Having a decision-based risk framework may help to guide policy creation that could minimize or prevent possible outbreaks and surges of infection within communities. The University of Louisville in partnership with Louisville’s Department of Public Health and Wellness tested this strategy in 2021 and 2022. This Wastewater-Informed Public Health Intervention Playbook describes the decisions and actions of that academic and public service partnership to develop an epidemiological-based, public wastewater surveillance system to monitor community infection and spread. This playbook details the cooperative processes between academic, public, and governmental organizations in the creation of a decision-risk framework, informed by wastewater-based community surveillance, that guided decision-making about public health interventions.