BOSTON (WHDH) - Coronavirus levels in wastewater data collected from the Deer Island water treatment plant have been declining after a weekslong spike, raising hopes that the Boston area is moving past the peak of the omicron surge.
Peak COVID-19 levels in the wastewater were recorded around New Year’s Eve through the first couple days of January, but there has been a significant drop since then, according to the most recent readings from the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority’s plant.
“COVID-19 throws us a lot of curveballs, but it’s actually reassuring and helpful to see that in the wastewater because over time it has actually been very predictive,” Dr. Sabrina Assoumou, of Boston Medical Center, told Mayor Michelle Wu in an Instagram interview.
The MWRA has been graphing the levels of omicron found in the wastewater, data that doesn’t rely on people going out for a COVID test, especially in environments where waits for PCR tests are often very long.
“It certainly forecasts that the end is near,” Dr. Shira Doron, of Tufts Medical Center, said of the wastewater data.
When the omicron variant was first discovered in South Africa, there was a steep, three-week climb in coronavirus levels in wastewater followed by a steep drop.
Doctors now say it seems clear that omicron cases in the Bay State will dip like they did in South Africa.
“It’s always good to have some glimmer of hope. The wastewater is encouraging, but it’s also telling us that we have to remain vigilant,” Assoumou added.
The vaccine and masks remain the best protection against the virus, officials reminded residents.
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