Four senior living communities will be among the first to implement daily testing of sewage for early COVID and infectious pathogen detection, aiding in proactive containment and minimizing spread
SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ. – Cadence Living, a Scottsdale-based senior housing owner, developer and operator, is partnering with Pangolin Health, a California-based company implementing innovative pandemic management and containment strategies through the capture of the biological information content of wastewater, to test its Phoenix area community populations.
The unobtrusive daily testing will identify the presence of infectious pathogens, including COVID-19, allowing for early detection and proactive containment to best protect the health and safety of its residents and staff. The wastewater testing technology is being installed at Cadence Living’s four Valley communities as beta test sites this week. If successful, Cadence Living plans to bring this technology to each of its 31 communities across the country.
The wastewater-testing technology, which will test the sewage outflow of the Cadence Living communities, will work by collecting samples every six minutes. The RNA from the virus that causes COVID-19 is identified in the samples, providing key information about viral spread and viral composition to Cadence’s clinical partner Genetworx, for individual testing and early determination of the presence of COVID-19 or other infectious pathogens.
Such detection will occur well-before symptoms would present in an individual at a community. In the event of a positive detection, the Cadence Living community or building where the pathogen is detected would implement its safety protocol, including the isolation of individuals living and working there as well as the testing and monitoring each person. The data obtained through the hyper-local mass testing of wastewater allows for Cadence Living to proactively contain an outbreak before it spreads while also measuring its prevention strategies.
Cadence Living communities in the Valley include Inspira Arrowhead, Acoya Mesa, Andara in Scottsdale, and Cadence Chandler.
“Installing Pangolin’s new wastewater testing technology at our communities allows us to be continuously vigilant protecting our residents and team members from COVID-19 and other infectious diseases by unobtrusively testing each community in real time every day,” said Rob Leinbach, principal of Cadence Living. “Knowledge is power. Thanks to this new technology, we will have an early warning of potential looming infections and be better positioned to take appropriate action. The exciting part of this technology is that it can also test for norovirus and other infectious diseases that are not being addressed by the COVID-19 vaccine.
“The combination of our hard-working team members, vaccines, wastewater testing technology and individualized testing is a potent counter to pandemics. At Cadence, we are doing everything we can to take the guess work out of the equation and be the industry leader in protecting our residents,” Leinbach said.
The process of installing the wastewater technology began earlier this month with the inspection of the sewer systems at Cadence Living’s four Phoenix area communities by the Pangolin team to determine its placement and ensure the capture of flow is only from the community or a building where that type of isolation is possible. Once the system is installed, a baseline will be established through capture, testing, and recording of the data to allow for reporting of the existence of COVID-19 or other infectious diseases.
“Wastewater-based epidemiology is a powerful director of clinical testing and provides vital information for proactively preventing community spread. It allows our clients to know of a potential outbreak before any other demonstrated testing approach.,” said Edward Renwick, CEO of Pangolin. “Our technology is similar to that being used at university dorms in Arizona and California and is proving to be the most effective tool for the proactive prevention of infectious disease spread within a segmented community. This allows our clients to direct a proactive rather than reactive prevention strategy. It is a game-changer for senior living communities that employ the technology and others who prioritize the health and safety of their residents.”
Sample testing will occur daily by Genetworx. The lab uses next-gen sequencing and rt-pcr testing. In addition to providing readings for COVID-19 and other novel viruses through testing of the RNA and DNA panels, Genetworx will also be able to detect the existence of parasites, UTIs and potentially cancer diagnostics.