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Wastewater reports predict decline in Omicron in Twin Cities area

Feb 10, 2022
https://mndaily.com/270869/news/wastewater-reports-predict-decline-in-omicron-in-twin-cities-area/

Amid the pandemic, the University of Minnesota Genomics Center (UMGC) and the Metro wastewater treatment plant in St. Paul have been working together to test wastewater for COVID-19 to predict trends for the Twin Cities area.

Monitoring the presence of COVID-19 in wastewater allows public health experts to know what geographic locations will have a high number of cases, without testing mass groups of people. Although there are still new cases emerging, the data predicted a decline in omicron cases by the week of Feb. 6 according to Kat Dodge, a spokesperson from the Medical School.

The omicron variant was first observed in the wastewater in mid-December. During the peak of omicron cases in early January, 1,047 million copies of COVID-19 gene fragments came into the plant each day. By the end of January, this number decreased to 133 million gene fragments a day, according to Dr. Steve Balogh, a research scientist in the Metropolitan Council’s Environmental Services division.

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