As Israel eases movement restrictions amid concerns for future waves of coronavirus infection, a group of Ben Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) scientists have developed a new methodology  to detect the presence of the virus  in sewage and wastewater systems. Because the virus is shed in the stool of infected individuals, sampling of sewage at water treatment plants can be used to assess infection levels in hot spots or provide early warning should another outbreak occur. This was confirmed during the current outbreak, when the team found higher concentrations of the virus' genetic material in samples from Bnei Brak, an outbreak hot spot. The project is being carried out under the auspices of Ben Gurion University's Coronavirus Task Force, led by  Prof. Ariel Kushmaro of the Department of Biotechnology Engineering at BGU, together with Dr. Itay Bar-Or, a virologist from Sheba Medical Center; Yakir Berchenko of BGU’s Department of Industrial Engineering and Management; Oded Nir of the Department of Desalination and Water Treatment at BGU’s Zuckerberg Institute for Water Research; and Prof. Eran Freedler from the Technion. KAN's Naomi Segal heard more from research team leader Prof. Ariel Kushmaro.