The levels of coronavirus detected in Boston’s waste water has tripled in a week and risen six-fold two weeks thanks to the Omicron-fueled COVID-19 surge rocking Massachusetts, along with the rest of the nation.
The amount of virus traces in a given region’s waste water is used by experts to forecast trends in the population’s upcoming COVID-19 cases.
The waste water coming into the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority’s Deer Island treatment plant is tested by Cambridge-based Biobot Analytics, which has said that the amount of virus traces correlates with COVID-19 cases four to 10 days later in the Boston area, the Boston Globe reported.
The current spike in COVID-19 traces found in its waste water means that the Boston area’s COVID-19 woes are only going to get worse in the next week or so.
The level of COVID-19 traces in Boston’s waste water tripled in one week and rose six-fold in two weeks amid the state’s Omicron surge
The amount of virus traces in a given region’s waste water is used by experts to forecast trends in the population’s upcoming COVID-19 cases. Above is a chart showing the rise in COVID-19 traces found in southern Boston’s waste water
This means COVID-19 cases are only projected to rise more in the next week or so in the Boston area. Above is a chart showing the rise in COVID-19 traces found in northern Boston’s waste water
Massachusetts reached an all-time record for seven-day average COVID-19 cases on January 1, at 15,238
The seven-day average of virus traces in the waste water of Boston’s southern area was a record-breaking 9,136 RNA copies/mL on December 30, according to the MWRA. That’s three times as high as the 2,574 RNA copies/mL reported on December 23.
It’s also up by over six times as high as it was two weeks prior, on December 15, when the seven-day average was 1,367 RNA copies/mL. In the few months before that, the rate had undulated in the hundreds but didn’t breach 1,000 until December 1, when it hit 1,136 RNA copies/mL – eight times less than it is now.
The samples could also show where the virus is transmitting, as the northern area of Boston saw slightly less of an increase than in the south. On December 29, the seven-day average of the virus traces was 6,987 RNA copies/mL and was up just under three times as much as the 2,411 RNA copies/mL reported on December 23.
It was also up by five and a half times as it was on December 15, at 1,243 RNA copies/mL and seven and a half times the 929 RNA copies/mL that it was at on December 1.
Massachusetts has seen a steep incline in COVID-19 cases this month, reporting 22,086 new confirmed coronavirus cases on December 30, roughly a 27% increase from the previous day’s 16,165 cases, according to a DailyMail.com analysis of John Hopkins University data.
The increase in COVID-19 traces in the waste water coming into the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority’s Deer Island treatment plant (above) indicates that COVID-19 cases could only rise more in the next week or so in the Boston area
Cambridge-based Biobot Analytics tests the waste water and has said that the amount of virus traces correlates with COVID-19 cases four to 10 days later in the Boston area
The number of new confirmed COVID cases rose slightly higher on Friday, setting another single day record at 22,703 cases.
The seven-day average has also been increasing exponentially and reached an all-time record on January 1 at 15,2398, up about 50% from the 7,647 cases reported on December 25 and up 62% from the 5,740 reported on December 18.
The latest figures from Johns Hopkins University published Sunday show 115,984 new cases and 280 deaths in the last 24 hours, a lull on previous days caused by slower weekend reporting of figures.
The US reached a seven-day average of 402,998 cases on Sunday, as White House COVID tsar Dr Anthony Fauci has suggested that Americans could be forced to test negative before exiting the newly-shortened virus quarantine of five days, as the country braces itself for mass staff shortages.
Dr Anthony Fauci has suggested that Americans could be forced to test negative before exiting the newly-shortened virus quarantine of five days, as the country braces itself for mass staff shortages
Fauci made his remarks in an ABC News interview on Sunday, days after the CDC halved the quarantine time for infected people from 10 days to five, for anyone who is asymptomatic or has not had a fever for 24 hours.
He said: ‘You’re right there has been some concern about why we don’t ask people at that five-day period to get tested. That is something that is now under consideration.
‘The CDC is very well aware that there has been some pushback about that. Looking at it again, there may be an option in that, that testing could be a part of that. And I think we’re going to be hearing more about that in the next day or so from the CDC,’ Fauci said.
Fauci’s latest remarks have seen him accused of flip-flopping on COVID yet again, with Americans given conflicting advice as cases surge and lines for tests lengthen. Travelers also endured another day of chaos at US airports, with 2,409 flights canceled across the country on Sunday afternoon, and another 4,758 delayed.