South Bay wastewater tests show signs of Omicron decline – CBS San Francisco

SAN JOSE (KPIX) – Data collected from Santa Clara County wastewater show strong indications that cases of omicron variant COVID may be on the decline.

“What we’ve seen is that this has been a predictor of what might happen, the overall trend,” said Michael Balliet, Santa Clara County deputy director of public health. “Whether we can say we’ve peaked remains to be determined, but the wastewater data shows stabilization and a decline.”

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The Santa Clara County Public Health Department was one of the first in the nation to begin testing raw sewage at treatment plants for signs of COVID. And it turned out to be a reliable indicator of the extent of the spread of the disease.

Samples of human waste are collected from a pipeline at the San Jose Wastewater Treatment Plant. The samples are then sent to a Stanford lab, where they are tested for COVID.

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“The beauty of this particular program is that it detects Sars CoV2 in wastewater regardless of your symptomatic status or stage of disease progression. You don’t need to be tested and that’s all the community.

The data shows that the number of cases peaks on January 7, then levels off and decreases on January 10. Readings from four Gilroy wastewater treatment facilities in Palo Alto show similar peaks and drops. This data matches what is recorded in communities across the country.

And because the samples come from millions of people, it becomes a key indicator of how communities are coping with COVID.

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But health officials warn that the trend lines could turn around again, just as quickly.

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