The CDC is finally publishing wastewater data—but only ten states are well-represented

This week, the CDC added wastewater tracking to its COVID-19 data dashboard. Wastewater has been an important COVID-tracking tool throughout the pandemic, but it gained more public interest in recent months as Omicron’s rapid spread showed the utility of this early warning system. While the CDC’s new wastewater tracker offers a decent picture of national COVID-19 trends, it’s basically useless for local data in the majority of states.

Read More

BA.2 FAQ: What you should know about this Omicron offshoot

An offshoot strain of the Omicron variant has been making headlines this week as it spreads rapidly in some European and Asian countries. While the strain, called BA.2 by virologists, has not yet been identified in the U.S. in large numbers, it’s already spreading here, too: scientists have picked it up in wastewater samples in some parts of the country.

Read More

Six more things, January 9

Here are six other COVID-19 news items from the past week that didn’t quite warrant full posts. Including: CDC isolation guidance, a new reporting recipe, a variant that you should not freak out about, and more.

Read More

FAQ: Testing and isolation in the time of Omicron

As Omicron spreads rapidly through the U.S., this variant is driving record case numbers—and record demand for testing, including both PCR and rapid at-home tests. In other words, it feels harder than ever to get tested for COVID-19, largely because more people currently need a test due to recent exposure to the virus than at any other time during the pandemic.

Read More