RENO, Nevada (KOLO) – Almost all new cases of COVID-19 are likely the Omicron variant, the Washoe County Health District reported Wednesday.
He bases this assessment on researchers at the University of Nevada at Reno who are looking for the wastewater variant of the Truckee Meadows water harvesting facility. The facility on the east side of the valley, just south of Interstate 80, treats most of the area’s wastewater.
Only a portion of the COVID-19 tests on people are tested for the presence of the Omicron variant, which so far has been shown to be milder than other versions of the virus but spreads much more easily.
Omicron appeared in the sewage on December 12, but was not detected by a COVID-19 test until December 20, the health district said.
“Based on the sewage sampling, almost all new current cases should be considered Omicron,” the district said in a statement.
Samples are taken from 12 sewer sites located throughout the region. Cases have increased dramatically over the Christmas holidays and have increased tenfold in recent months.
“These data are predictive of the significant increase in new cases that we are currently experiencing,” District health manager Kevin Dick said in a statement. “We hope people will understand that COVID-19 still has an impact on the community. Omicron is here for the most part and is receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, and a booster when eligible is what is going to help us get through this pandemic in the safest way possible. “
The health district recommends testing if you show signs of COVID-19 or have been in close contact (6 feet or less for 15 minutes) with a positive case.
The tests are available seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at:
- Bartley Ranch Regional Park, 6000 Bartley Ranch Road, Reno
- Eagle Canyon Park, 400 Eagle Canyon Drive, Spanish Springs
- Southern Valleys Regional Park, 15650 Wedge Pkwy, Reno
- Northern Valleys Regional Park, 8085 Silver Lake Rd, Reno
Or at the Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
And in other places.
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