Surveillance shows drastic COVID-19 viral load decrease in Twin Cities sewage

(Metropolitan Council / Supplied) (Supplied)

A wastewater surveillance program in the Twin Cities that tracks COVID-19 through sewage may show that the virus has drastically decreased in most metro communities. 

Data from the Metropolitan Council shows the viral load of COVID-19 in our waste has fallen steeply, decreasing by more than 98 percent from its peak last January – now only 2.5 times higher than the lowest values observed during the pandemic (in June 2021). 

Omicron has become the prominent variant observed, and made up about 95 percent of the virus recorded. 

The data first started being published in November 2020 as a way of tracking the spread of COVID-19 throughout communities. 

Research doesn’t indicate individual positive cases or how and where outbreaks occur, but it can help give a measure of how prevalent the virus is in an area. That data can then be compared to the health department’s information on COVID-19 testing and infection rates.