COVID levels in wastewater trend up, indicating current surge will continue – Boston, Massachusetts

Boston, Massachusetts 2022-05-19 21:54:26 –


Detecting viruses in wastewater is more important than ever, as fewer tests are reported to the state.

Wastewater from much of eastern Massachusetts is being analyzed at Deer Island’s sewage treatment plant. David L Ryan / Globe Staff

Over the last few weeks, Massachusetts has seen an increase in COVID-19-positive cases. Will this trend continue? Wastewater dataA powerful tool used to predict future cases shows that.

The level of COVID-19 in wastewater is an important early warning sign as the process generally detects infection before the person carrying the virus confirms it in actual testing. At this stage of the pandemic, more residents are relying on rapid home inspections. These results are usually not reported to public health authorities, further increasing the importance of wastewater data.

Levels of COVID-19 detected at the Massachusetts Water Resources Department’s Deer Island Treatment Plant have returned to levels not seen since late January. Boston Globe report..

Andrew Lover, an assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst School of Public Health and Health Sciences, said: Gloves.. “A significant amount of virus is found in wastewater throughout the state.”

Massachusetts Public Health Service on Thursday report 4,957 new confirmed cases of virus. The 7-day average of confirmed cases is currently 2,985.7. This number has declined slightly since May 15, but has been steadily increasing since mid-March.

MWRA Deer Island Factory Analyze wastewater From 43 communities including Boston Gloves report. The test identifies the number of SARS-CoV-2 RNA copies per milliliter of water. The data is divided into the southern and northern regions of the MWRA system.

In the northern region, as of Wednesday, the average for 7 days was 1,273 RNA copies / mL. The number peaked on January 5, reaching 8,644 copies. The lowest number of copies was on March 9, with 101 RNA copies / mL. Gloves report.

In the southern region, Wednesday’s average was 1,332 RNA copies / mL. The lowest level of the year was seen on March 1st, at 92 copies / mL.

Some parts of the state have called for caution and are pressing authorities to revive certain pandemic response tactics on the roadside.A group led by the Massachusetts Union for Health Inequalities on Wednesday Called on Governor Charlie Baker and state government agencies Like MBTA, we will issue a recommendation to wear a mask indoors and avoid large gatherings.

Members of the coalition, including health workers, public health advocates, and community leaders, cited the fact that not many positive tests have been reported to the state. This can increase the importance of wastewater analysis.

“Everything is rising and rising rapidly,” John Levy, director of environmental health at Boston University, said at a virtual press conference. “But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Everyone knows (and) that many home tests are being done right now, and not all positives have been reported to the state.”

Nationally, wastewater analysis appears to be robust at the state level, but weakened at the local level. According to April, only 92% of state public health agencies and 38% of local agencies monitored viral wastewater. Report From The Rockefeller Foundation, Pandemic Prevention Institute, Mathematica.

Of course, collecting this data is not easy. According to the report, only 7% of local agencies that did not monitor wastewater have what they need to start monitoring. The most important barrier to starting this process is the lack of internal staff. Local agencies were more likely to report barriers to wastewater data collection than non-local agencies.

Public health officials also seem to agree that wastewater data is a powerful tool, but many agencies are responding to pandemics based on other factors. The agency that monitored the wastewater rated the data as the least influential factor that provided information on pandemic management.

COVID levels in wastewater trend up, indicating current surge will continue Source link COVID levels in wastewater trend up, indicating current surge will continue

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