100% increase in COVID found in county wastewater: study

SAN DIEGO – The BA.2 variant of COVID-19 is in San Diego and UC San Diego Health is masking up in its health clinics.

When testing sewage systems across the county, scientists say they are seeing a 100% increase in COVID showing up in the sewer system.

“We are seeing cases increase slightly, so this may be another surge,” said Dr Abisola Olulade, of Sharp Rees Stealy.

Authorities temper the warnings by stating that most San Diegan residents are vaccinated and that the BA.2 variant is not as virulent as the Delta variant. Although officially the number of cases is not increasing exponentially, researchers believe that home testing kits and people simply treating the disease at home are hiding the true number of infections.

The sewage test claims more infections in the coming weeks, but the county’s mask requirements aren’t expected to return any time soon. Doctors say that at this point in the pandemic, personal safety precautions are the way to go.

“If you’re an immunocompromised person or at high risk of getting severe COVID, you might want to wear one anyway, because we know it gives you extra protection,” Dr. Olulade said.

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