SARS-CoV-2 has not been detected in drinking water sources and there is currently no evidence suggesting waterborne transmission of COVID-19 or other related coronaviruses. SARS-CoV-2 genetic material has been detected in surface waters which receive untreated or partially treated wastewater or combined sewer overflows (Study 1, Study 2). Both conventional wastewater and water treatments are expected to be effective against SARS-CoV-2. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention currently consider the risk of transmission of COVID-19 through water to be low. At this time, standard water safety guidance should be followed and no additional COVID-19 precautions are recommended by WHO or other organizations.

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Editor's note

Author: Jackie Knee
Review: Tom Heath, Robert Dreibelbis, Oliver Cumming, Karin Gallandat, Kate Medlicott
Last update: 13.08.2020

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