Covid Virus Reappears in NYC Wastewater

Covid Virus Reappears in NYC Wastewater

By Yehudit Garmaise

Some New Yorkers fear Covid is back after all 14 wastewater treatment plants across NYC reported “high” concentrations of the virus.

A “high” ranking translates to at least 50 or more Covid cases per 100,000 people, Gothamist reported.

According to NYS Wastewater Surveillance Network’s dashboard, Brooklyn, Staten Island, Queens and part of the Bronx recorded the highest increases in recent weeks.  Outside of the city, the coronavirus concentrations in wastewater from parts of Rockland County, Yonkers, and New Rochelle are also rising.

Test positivity, or the percentage of diagnostic tests that reveal Covid infection, has also slightly increased, however, lab testing is harder to trust, now that few people are testing, experts say.

Whether the slight uptick in Covid in the wastewater is the result of increased gatherings as the weather warms up or a new version of omicron, Ashwin Vasan, MD, PhD, the New York City health commissioner said, “It’s too early to tell.” 

“We look at wastewater data really over time,” Dr. Vasan said. “We need to look at it a little bit over longer time periods to draw any important inference.”

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