This weekend, I came across a screenshot of an email sent to people at North Dakota State University, pertaining to the testing of wastewater in the campus dorms. The body of the email explained to the recipient's dorm's wastewater tested positive for COVID-19. Then, the recipient was instructed to nearly immediately get tested. Of course, this is supposed to be an effort to slow/ stop the spread of the virus. Check out the screenshot of the email below:

Now, I was thinking that this was some #fakenews, meant to scare people. But it seems like this is real. Fargo news outlet, Valley News Live, received the email in a forwarded message. Get their story on the wastewater testing at NDSU here.

Yikes! Were the students even warned about this, or given notice after the wastewater was tested? It would still be kind of sketchy, but at least the students would have known that their sewage was being tested for COVID.

While I do understand that North Dakota State University is attempting to be proactive in "flattening the curve" on campus, I have a hard time believing that this is ethical. And I have some questions:

  •  Is it an invasion of privacy for a college to test dormitories' wastewater for COVID-19?
  • Is it ok to force students to get tested in the case that their dorm's water is infected?
  • What does this mean for students that live off-campus?
  • Will off-campus students also be forced to test as a precaution?
  • Will whole towns and cities start finding ways to force residents to get tested in order to slow/ stop the spread of COVID?

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