Increased levels of COVID-19 found in Boise wastewater testing
BOISE, Idaho —
Over two weeks ago, Central District Health lifted the public health order and mask mandates in Ada, Boise, Elmore, and Valley counties.
Life in Idaho seems to be inching its way back to normal. Vaccinations are up and confirmed cases are down but the city of Boise’s wastewater testing data could be telling us something different.
“The wastewater dashboard is showing a doubling since February 22," said Aline Gilmore with Central District Health. "The amount of the results went from about 65,000 to roughly 130,000 so it does look like the wastewater data doubled as the information was updated on March 4.”
The wastewater data comes from Boise, Garden City, and Eagle. According to Dr. David Pate, former CEO of St. Lukes's and current member of the governor's coronavirus working group, if we learned anything it’s that detecting the virus in wastewater typically gives experts a good idea of what's to come.
“What that tells me is, it is more and more evidence that I may be unfortunately correct in my prediction," Pate explained. "Both seeing the cases for the county and Idaho plateau and seeing these wastewater counts increase.”
Pate predicts that Idaho will see a fourth surge in COVID-19 cases, not only from the evidence of wastewater testing but also from what he’s seen happen around the country.