LONDON, ONT. -- A sample collected from London wastewater earlier this month has tested positive for the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

The sample was collected on Sept. 6 as part of a pilot project between the Middlesex-London Health Unit and the City of London that began in July.

Officials say this information could be useful in helping determine if COVID-19 cases are on the increase.

“We are at a point in the pandemic where we know that COVID-19 is still present in our community,” says Dr. Chris Mackie, Medical Officer of Health with the Middlesex-London Health Unit in a news release.

“By testing wastewater and identifying positive COVID-19 samples through this project, we can get a sense of areas in the community where we may not have known the virus was present. This added information can assist in our efforts and would enable us to focus some of our efforts on specific areas of the city.”

The pilot project will continue with the Canadian Coalition on Wastewater-Related COVID-19 Research.