COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – At residence exams turned an crucial device through the Omicron variant surge, however now well being officers like Government Director of Piedmont’s COVID-19 process pressure Dr. Jayne Morgan are saying they’re disrupting their capacity to precisely monitor case numbers in our neighborhood.
“That inherently is without doubt one of the points and one of many case numbers that we report are definitely under-reported by 5 to 10 fold,” stated Dr. Morgan.
This implies communities everywhere in the nation are turning to new methods to watch COVID-19 surges like utilizing wastewater surveillance.
One thing Georgia has already applied and one thing the Alabama Division of Public Well being says it’s trying into.
“We’re at the moment exploring grant alternatives for us to place into place wastewater testing as a part of a surveillance program like they’ve in different states,” stated Dr. Stubblefield.
So what’s wastewater surveillance? Dr. Morgan defined our our bodies shed the virus in our waste which may then be recognized via testing making it an vital device in stopping one other surge.
“It offers us a two to a few day head begin that the virus is now being shed from our bodies into our sewer water,” stated Dr. Morgan. “And we now must be looking out and make preparations forward of that.”
Nevertheless, this might not be the one resolution wanted.
Dr. Morgan says for the reason that nation relaxed COVID-19 restrictions and pushed for a return to normalcy wastewater surveillance has decreased within the state of Georgia and across the nation making it tougher to watch.
“This info now has change into a bit spotier and a bit harder to each get hold of and interpret,” stated Morgan.
Dr. Morgan is hopeful the surveillance will return to regular within the Peach State particularly with COVID instances on the rise.
Case numbers in Georgia have elevated 132% previously week and in Alabama Dr. Stubblefield says they’re seeing a rise as nicely.
“All that to say is we’re seeing some slight will increase we’re watching very carefully we haven’t met any kind of thresholds like they’ve within the North East,” stated Dr. Stubblefield. “And general we’ve got normally 70 individuals statewide which are hospitalized with COVID-19.”
Their case numbers have elevated from a day by day common of 100 instances to only over 300 instances per day within the final week.
Dr. Morgan additionally says it’s vital to notice the wastewater surveillance system is not going to assist establish new variants however does monitor for brand new surges.