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Boston Wastewater Suggests Surge Of Omicron Cases May Be Falling Off

BOSTON (CBS) - For the third week in a row, the number of COVID-19 breakthrough cases in the state nearly doubled.

As of Saturday, the number stands at more than 86,000 cases. Back on Christmas Day, it was about 20,000. But Dr. Mark Siedner of Massachusetts General Hospital said a peak in cases could be near.

"If you look around, especially in Massachusetts, there may be some very early signs that the highest of the peak in terms of reported cases is potentially behind us," Siedner said.

One of those signs is Boston's wastewater. The tracking system suggests the surge of Omicron cases may be falling off.

"If you look at the data closely, about a week ago, it was at the highest level and it's been almost cut in half in the last four, five days, so there is some early sign that at least that wave has turned a corner," Siedner said.

Although Dr. Siedner warned that even if cases do start to decline, a drop in hospitalizations and deaths tend to lag far behind. Residents we spoke to in Boston, said peak or no peak, they don't plan on letting their guard down anytime soon.

"They're seeing the trends and they have the data behind it, all we can do is act prudently and try to prevent as much as we can," Nadia Torress said.

"We get to the peak, but we have to get back over it at the same time, so we still have to stay vigilant," Andrea Shellman said.

Dr. Siedner adds that throughout the pandemic we've seen peaks come and fall but then also go back up, so despite what happens over the next few weeks, it's still important to social distance, get vaccinated and get boosted.

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