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Massachusetts wastewater data shows big increase in COVID levels in last week

COVID-19 levels increase in Eastern Massachusetts wastewater
COVID-19 levels increase in Eastern Massachusetts wastewater 00:26

BOSTON -- Wastewater data in Massachusetts has revealed a recent spike in COVID levels across northern and southern parts of the state. 

According to the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, areas north of the city have experienced roughly a 100 percent jump in the last week.

COVID wastewater data for cities and towns north of Boston.   Massachusetts Water Resources Authority

Meanwhile, COVID levels in areas south of Boston have increased to their highest point since mid-May.

A look at COVID wastewater data for areas south of Boston. Massachusetts Water Resources Authority

Samples are taken at the Deer Island Treatment Plant three times a week. The wastewater tested flows in from 43 communities around Boston. Testing detects the virus from people who have symptoms and from people who don't.

In Boston, there was a 104.5% increase in COVID RNA copies in local wastewater over the past seven days.

The Boston Public Health Commission noted that the rise coincides with people spending more time indoors and students returning to school, and that the city will likely rises in COVID hospitalizations in the upcoming weeks.

"This spike in our wastewater concentration is of great concern and another reminder that the pandemic is far from over," said Dr. Bisola Ojikutu, Commissioner of Public Health and Executive Director of the Boston Public Health Commission.

The amount of COVID in wastewater can often be used as an early warning sign for possible surges since many people are either not testing or taking at-home tests and not reporting. 

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