Wastewater COVID-19 testing: Google affiliate to pay Bloomington utilities for samples

For the next year, city of Bloomington utilities (CBU) will be getting $150 per sample of wastewater that it sends to Verily Life Science for COVID-19 testing.

Bloomington’s utilities service board (USB) approved the arrangement at its regular meeting on Monday.

Under the agreement, CBU will be sending three samples a week to the California-based company through Aug. 1, 2023, with the possibility of a one-year extension.

Responding to board questions, CBU’s James Hall, who is assistant director of environmental programs, said that CBU would have access to all of the data collected, but would not have control over its publication by Verily.

Verily is a company held by Alphabet, which is the company under which Google was reorganized in 2015. Verily describes itself as a “company bringing the promise of precision health to everyone, every day.” Continue reading “Wastewater COVID-19 testing: Google affiliate to pay Bloomington utilities for samples”

Post-Thanksgiving pandemic surge continues in Monroe County: “Vaccinate, vaccinate, vaccinate!”

Indiana University health officer Aaron Carroll’s message on Friday wrapped up like this: “The best thing we can all keep doing is vaccinate, vaccinate, vaccinate!”

Carroll was speaking at Friday’s biweekly press conference on COVID-19 pandemic response held by local city and county leaders.

Vaccination locations are listed out on searchable map maintained by the state’s department of health.

Even on IU’s Bloomington campus, where almost 95 percent of the university population is vaccinated, the positive case tally for the week ending Dec. 1 was 89. That’s about four times the weekly number that the campus was seeing through the month of October.

For all of Monroe County, the weekly total from Nov. 25 through Dec. 1 was 275.

The countywide daily positive case numbers reported for Wednesday and Thursday were 91 and 74. Monroe County has not seen daily case numbers that high since early January.

Continue reading “Post-Thanksgiving pandemic surge continues in Monroe County: “Vaccinate, vaccinate, vaccinate!””