Nearly 150 wastewater sites seeing an increase of 100% or more COVID-19 sampling in the U.S.

ByArielle Mitropoulos via ABCNews logo
Tuesday, March 29, 2022
Wastewater sites seeing 100+% increase in presence of COVID-19
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Nearly 150 wastewater sites have seen an increase of 100% or more in the presence of the COVID-19 virus in their wastewater, over the last 15 days.

The U.S. continues to exhibit signs that COVID-19 upticks may be emerging, across the country, as the presence of the omicron subvariant, BA.2, steadily increases.

Nearly 150 wastewater sites, which are monitored by the C.D.C., have seen an increase of 100% or more in the presence of the COVID-19 virus in their wastewater, over the last 15 days. Comparatively, at this time, last week, 120 sites were reporting similar increases.

In addition, 75 other sites have reported smaller increases between 1%-99%.

In some cases, small increases may result in a large percent increase, thus, it is important to note that some of this data may be partially skewed.

Wastewater data is sparse across the country, but indicators suggest some sites in the Northeast, including in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Rhode Island, have seen notable increases in the presence of COVID-19 in local wastewater.

Throughout the pandemic, wastewater surveillance has been a tool used as a preliminary indicator of COVID-19 trends in the U.S. Because asymptomatic patients can shed the virus, wastewater surveillance can capture infections that may not have identified in official counts. In addition, many Americans are taking at-home COVID-19 tests and are not reporting their results to officials, thus, experts say infection totals are likely undercounted.

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