Boston area wastewater COVID levels continue to rise – NBC Boston


The current, record-breaking wave of COVID-19 in Massachusetts shows no signs of abating, according to the Boston-area Wastewater Detection System.

Wastewater treated by the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority has been monitored since the start of the pandemic, and virus levels have been rising steadily since the fall. At the beginning of December, the data showed a peak as high as that of last winter, and it has only increased since then.

There were about 2,500 COVID RNA copies per milliliter in the system on Wednesday, with the most recent data available today. Last winter, the peak was around 1,500 RNA copies per milliliter.

The data tracks what the Massachusetts Department of Public Health saw. On Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, he reported a record number of new confirmed COVID cases in a single day – peaking at more than 10,000 in one day for the first time.

In early December, Mariana Matus, CEO and founder of Biobot Analytics, which tracks COVID levels in wastewater, said researchers at the Cambridge-based company began to notice a further rise from the end of October.


COVID data on Biodot wastewater as of December 6, 2021.

A graph showing the levels of COVID detected in Boston-area wastewater through December 22, 2021.

Massachusetts Water Resources Authority

A graph showing the levels of COVID detected in Boston-area wastewater through December 22, 2021.

“We don’t yet know if this spike could be caused by Thanksgiving activities or if it could be a contribution from the new omicron variant,” she said.

There has been a sharp rise in COVID-19 infections in Massachusetts, according to state wastewater testing.

Dr David Hamer of Boston Medical Center told NBC10 Boston earlier this month that he was “concerned about what was going on,” as the data indicates.

He told the Boston Herald this week, “We’re going to have a pretty tough few weeks in Massachusetts and New England because of this,” noting that it looked like a push from a delta variant after Thanksgiving was overtaken by another push from the delta. omicron variant.

We got a detailed explanation of how a Massachusetts company, Biobot Analytics, analyzed wastewater to monitor coronavirus peaks in the Boston area and across the country.

The data is being collected from the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority’s Deer Island wastewater treatment plant, and the approach has shown that it can give an early indication of an increase in cases based solely on what is found in sewage.

Forty-three communities in eastern Massachusetts have their water treated at the plant, including Boston, Cambridge, Framingham and Quincy. The data cannot be linked to specific towns, villages or neighborhoods, but it does provide public health officials with a big picture of what is happening in the region.

Other regions are also monitoring wastewater for COVID – Burlington, Vermont, detected the omicron variant in its wastewater this month before the first case was officially confirmed by the Vermont Department of Public Health.


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