New York City officials have expressed concern after the city's wastewater surveillance data showed that the rate of COVID-19 detected in the city's wastewater is now considered to be at a "High" level, according to the NYS Wastewater Surveillance Network.
A look at data over a two-week period showed that only 3% of the city's plants were in the "Low" category, with 34% in the "Moderate" category, and an overwhelming 63% in the "High" range.
New York City's Department of Health said wastewater surveillance is a fast and reliable way to detect viruses and bacteria that can cause illnesses. It provides a way to detect trends of infection in the community without having to wait for people to get tested.
Data from city officials shows that COVID-19 rates in New York have remained flat since April at under 300 cases.
Infectious disease experts say trends are what stands out in wastewater detection for contaminants and other infectious properties. While the "absolute number might be debatable, that trend is always something that makes" experts pay attention, Dr. Peter Chin-Hong, an infectious diseases specialist, told ABC News.
Wastewater data and trends are expected to change, but for New York City, this latest spike is something officials say they'll monitor closely.
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