COVID Screening Platform

Summary  |  Our Team  |  Publications & Outcomes


A Windsor solution to rapidly detect COVID-19 in the University of Windsor community.

Our region has implemented a surveillance-based informative framework that combines wastewater testing with low-cost saliva-based qPCR screening to monitor SARS-CoV-2 and emerging pathogens. We aim to rapidly inform our community of disease trends to keep schools and essential sectors of the economy open while protecting vulnerable populations.

Thank you to our funding sources for their support 


Our Team

Publications & Outcomes


Evaluating and optimizing Acid-pH and Direct Lysis RNA extraction for SARS-CoV-2 RNA detection in whole saliva

Brayden LaBute, Jackie Fong, Farinaz Ziaee, Robert Gombar, Mathew Stover, Terry Beaudin, Maria Badalova, Qiudi Geng, Ryland Corchis-Scott, Ana Podadera, Kyle Lago, ZhenHuan Xu, Fievel Lim, Felix Chiu, Minghua Fu, Xiaofeng Nie, Yuanmin Wu, Corrina Quan, Caroline Hamm, R. Michael McKay, Kenneth Ng, Lisa A. Porter & Yufeng Tong 

Scientific Reports, vol. 14, no. 1, Mar. 2024, p. 7017.

Actionable wastewater surveillance: application to a university residence hall during the transition between Delta and Omicron resurgences of COVID-19

Ryland Corchis-Scott, Qiudi Geng, Abdul Monem Al Riahi, Amr Labak, Ana Podadera, Kenneth K. S. Ng, Lisa A. Porter, Yufeng Tong, Jess C. Dixon, Sherri Lynne Menard, Rajesh Seth and R. Michael McKay

Frontiers in Public Health, 11:1139423. (2023) 

Averting an Outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 in a University Residence Hall through Wastewater Surveillance.

Ryland Corchis-Scott, Qiudi Geng, Rajesh Seth, Rajan Ray, Mohsan Beg, Nihar Biswas, Lynn Charron, Kenneth D. Drouillard, Ramsey D’Souza, Daniel D. Heath, Chris Houser, Felicia Lawal, James McGinlay, Sherri Lynne Menard, Lisa A. Porter, Diane Rawlings, Matthew L. Scholl, K. W. Michael Siu, Yufeng Tong, Christopher G. Weisener, Steven W. Wilhelm, R. Michael L. McKay

Microbiology Spectrum, 9(2), e00792-21. (2021)

In the news

April 26, 2023 - How UWindsor researchers are preparing for the next pandemic (CBC Windsor); 

     - Researchers working to learn from the COVID pandemic and prepare for emerging global pathogens (UWindsor Daily News) 

March 15, 2023 University of Windsor partners in Pandemic Preparedness Research Hub - Health Intelligence & Innovation in Infectious Diseases (HI3)

September 3, 2021 - Federal COVID research funding responds to Windsor-Essex’s unique location, population

March 23, 2021 - Provincial funding boosts research tracking COVID-19 through sewage

June 3, 2021 - UWindsor research team joins province-wide COVID wastewater project

Cross-Border Healthcare Worker Survey Results 

A clear lesson learned throughout the pandemic was that Canada requires reliable, flexible, and consumer-friendly methods to detect novel pathogens rapidly and accurately to (a) better prepare and support HCWs for future public health crises, (b) prevent international border closures, (c) and support the resilience of our linked economies. 

In August 2023, we conducted a survey of Windsor's cross-border healthcare workers at Henry Ford Hospital to gather their perceptions of and interest in participating in regular saliva qPCR screenings for emerging viruses at a location that is close to the US/Canada border. Please find the results of the survey

We will also be conducting this survey for other cross-border workers in Windsor to develop a screening platform that will be practical for participants. 

Pilot Phase Screening Researchers in the Essex-CORe building

We released the findings of Phase 1 on May 14, 2021. Below is a summary of the information in the Phase 1 Final Report (link to PDF).

COVID Screening Platform Phase 1 Participant Satisfaction Outcomes

COVID-19 Dashboard

This interactive COVID-19 dashboard displays data from the number of tests completed through the UWindsor qPCR screening and Windsor and Essex County wastewater surveillance data. As of March 13, 2023, we will no longer update the dashboard. 

Wastewater from Windsor-Essex is collected from wastewater treatment plants every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Mental Health Resources

On and Off-Campus Psychological and Counselling Resources
Student Counselling Centre
Free, confidential counselling provided by professional therapists for all students. 
Email to book a remote telephone/video conferencing appointment:
Peer Support Centre
A safe, inclusive space that provides free, confidential walk-in emotional support by trained University of Windsor student volunteers.
Connect via zoom (link available on website):
MySSP: Student Support Program
Free confidential counselling 24/7 with licensed counsellors, available via call or text in 35+ languages.
Download the App: MySSP 
24/7 helpline for any post-secondary student problems.
Community Crisis Centre 24/7 Crisis Line
Free, confidential crisis intervention provided by professional crisis workers.
24/7 Walk-in Crisis Service
Windsor Regional Hospital Emergency Department
1030 Ouellette Ave., Windsor
Canadian Mental Health Association
Free mental health services including one to one counselling, therapy groups, substance use programs, and bereavement groups. 
1400 Windsor Ave., Windsor
Mon–Fri 8:30am–4:30pm 519-255-7440
Crisis and Mental Health Centre
Free, confidential walk-in services provided by professional mental health support workers.
744 Ouellette Ave., Windsor
Open 7 days a week 8am–8pm
For other general information about community services and resources in communities across Ontario, dial ‘211’ or go to

Full List of On- and Off-Campus Resources