DETROIT, Mich. – From the start of the pandemic, many cities and counties have been using sewage testing to determine COVID-19 infection rates in the community. With a lack of testing, collecting sewage samples can be an accurate way to analyze the infection rates of certain areas of the country and how those evolve over time.
Now, new testing of sanitary sewage in Macomb County near Detroit is reportedly showing that COVID-19 infection rates are declining, according to the Macomb County Public Works Office. The sanitary sewage testing, the office reports, has been utilized to indicate future reported clinical cases.
The decline is a good sign that infections may have peaked during the surge of December and are starting to come down, according to the Macomb County Public Works office.
“For the past few months, we’ve all been inundated with troubling and grim news reports involving COVID, particularly the highly-contagious omicron variant,” Macomb County Public Works Commissioner Candice S. Miller said in a press release. “The latest sewage-testing data that we have reviewed offers reason for optimism that infection rates have not only leveled off, but that infections are dropping significantly.”
The highest reading from the tests, according to Macomb County Public Works Office, occurred on Dec. 28. Samples from early January are reportedly indicating a strong drop in infection rates in comparison to late-December rates.
“We report our findings to the Macomb County Health Department and leave it up to the health care professionals to use as another tool in their prediction modeling,” Miller said.