Boston area coronavirus wastewater data hits record levels, a ‘scary’ sign after already high case counts

Jan 14, 2021

Data tracking the presence of the coronavirus in wastewater sampled from throughout Greater Boston has skyrocketed to record high levels in the last few days, a “scary” sign of what’s to come as Massachusetts health officials have already been reporting significantly more cases in the last week, an infectious diseases specialist tells the Herald.

The results in the last four days from Massachusetts Water Resources Authority’s study to track wastewater indicators of COVID-19 show record amounts of viral RNA. This comes after the state last week reported single-day record case counts — with three days of more than 7,000 cases across the Bay State.

The record levels of COVID-19 traces in the Boston area wastewater could mean that even higher case counts are coming, warned Davidson Hamer, a professor at Boston University School of Public Health and School of Medicine.

“It could be a sign of higher counts than it’s been, which is scary because it’s been really high recently,” Hamer said Wednesday.

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