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Signs of the Omicron variant are being found in California wastewater systems

In the effort to track the spread of #SARSCoV2 #coronavirus, researchers are monitoring #wastewater in many locations around the state of California.

The approach has found the virus in wastewater in Sacramento area, the Central Valley & the Bay Area.

In the effort to track the spread of the #Omicron variant of the coronavirus, researchers in California are monitoring the wastewater in many locations around the state.

The approach has already uncovered signs of the variant in wastewater in the Sacramento area; in Merced County, in the Central Valley of the state; and in Santa Clara County, which includes San Jose and the southern part of the Bay Area.

The monitoring is being carried out by Stanford University and several campuses in the University of California system — Berkeley, Davis, Merced, San Diego and San Francisco — as well as the California Department of Public Health. The checks have been conducted at over 25 sites in the state, the health department said.

The agency added that signs of the variant had been detected through mutations associated with Omicron, and that while their presence suggested that the variant was present in those places, it was not confirmation. But Omicron cases have been confirmed through whole genome sequencing in a resident in the Santa Clara area and another in the Sacramento area, the department said.

Similarly, the Colorado state epidemiologist, Dr. Rachel Herlihy, said in a news conference on Tuesday that “signature mutations” of the variant had been found in Boulder’s wastewater system. Dr. Herlihy said the detection probably indicated the presence of “some low level of community transmission” and encouraged residents to get vaccinated, wear masks and maintain social distancing.

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