COVID-19 wastewater data shows Greeley Tribune area atop Omicron peak


Wastewater data suggests that the region is “at the peak” of omicron infections, although hospitalizations are not.

Wastewater arriving at the Deer Island Treatment Plant is regularly tested for the presence of the coronavirus. Lane Turner / The Greeley Tribune Globe

After reaching unprecedented heights just last week, samples of COVID-19 from Greeley Tribune area wastewater are trending downward, suggesting the region is at the peak of the omicron wave.

  • Even as mass reports record COVID-19 cases, wastewater figures show uncountable infections ‘more substantial than ever’

According to data presented Monday to the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, the average number of coronavirus RNA copies per milliliter collected from both the northern and southern Greeley Tribune suburbs has declined by more than 40 percent in recent days, though it has been found to be higher during the past few days. levels exceeded. COVID-19 surge.

Dr Mariana Matus, CEO and cofounder of Biobot, a Cambridge-based company that analyzed the data, said on Wednesday that the change was “meaningful”.

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“MWRA levels have been trending downward over the past few days, indicating that we are at the peak of the Omicron transition,” Mattus said in an email.

That doesn’t mean we’re out of the woods yet – especially for low-staff hospitals, which have suffered the brunt of being admitted to the hospital While the highly transmissible variant has generally been milder than previous strains due to Omicron, rapid, unprecedented amounts of infection have still increased in patients with severe disease, primarily non-vaccinated residents and those with underlying conditions. in individuals.

And according to Mattus, there has been a gap of about three weeks between infection and hospitalization.

“We expect that the peak of hospitalization is still to come,” Matas said.

Experts have said that wastewater data is a good indicator of the actual COVID-19 infection rate, as it is unaffected by testing capacity and official reporting. Even as Massachusetts averaged nearly three times the number of infections as last winter’s peak, wastewater data suggested the true counts are much higher, with no asymptomatic cases and unrestricted take-home tests. to capture

While this week’s figures suggest infection rates remain high, public health experts are welcoming the new slowdown.

Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of Brown University’s School of Public Health, said on Wednesday that, nationally, “the peak of this wave is coming.”

“Yes, some parts of the US are still growing. And many tough weeks ahead of hospitals. But the wave will rise nationally. And soon,” Jha tweeted on Wednesday.

Dr. Bill Hannez, a professor of epidemiology at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, also tweeted Tuesday that the decline was “apparently good”, although he warned of rising infections in older age groups, which are “hospitalised”. more likely to need care in the U.S..” Hannez urges people with an already strained health care system to get their booster shot to prevent serious consequences.

“But it suggests good news for the disruption caused by the sheer number of infections,” he wrote.