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The Kid Report: Testing the Water

The story “Testing the Water”—about how scientists are testing wastewater for the coronavirus—appears in this week’s issue of TIME for Kids. Allie Amison took part in a wastewater testing program at her school, and writes about it below.

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The University of California San Diego (UCSD), runs a program called Safer at School Early Alert, or SASEA. It’s for schools and childcare facilities. I go to Vista Grande Elementary, in El Cajon, California. I was lucky enough to participate in SASEA. The program uses a robot to test wastewater for the virus that causes COVID-19. We named our robot Harry Botter. It has tubes that go into sewer drains to bring up wastewater for laboratory testing. It was really cool to see the robot in action. The SASEA program also does voluntary nasal swab testing.

I got tested for COVID-19 once a week for about eight weeks. I hope programs like SASEA will help kids around the world get back to school safely. I’m so thankful that SASEA was there to help our school.