The levels of COVID-19 detected in wastewater show the Central Florida surge isn't slowing down, officials say

·1 min read
Cars line up for Covid-19 testing in Miami, on August 3, 2020.
Cars line up for Covid-19 testing in Miami, on August 3, 2020. - CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images
  • Health officials in Orange County, Florida, reported high levels of COVID-19 RNA concentration in the region's wastewater.

  • The concentration of COVID-19 RNA levels has risen 600% since sampling began in mid-May.

  • Health officials say that the data is "very concerning" and shows that the COVID-19 surge in Florida is not slowing down.

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Health officials in Central Florida say that the high levels of COVID-19 RNA concentration found in the region's wastewater are "very concerning."

The concentration has risen 600% since sampling began in mid-May, Director of Orange County Utilities Ed Torres told reporters, according to FOX 13 News. The wastewater levels - which public health officials have used as a tool to measure COVID-19 infections - indicate that the surge that is overwhelming Florida hospitals is not slowing down.

"The results of the virus RNA that we measure in wastewater indicate that we will see continued clinical cases and hospitalizations this week, even beyond what was reported this weekend," Torres said. "Please, we urge you to get vaccinated and continue to take the proper precautions."

Orange County started surveilling Atwater in May in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Florida is seeing a surge of COVID-19 cases because of the Delta variant. The state recorded more than 151,000 new cases last week - a record high - and more than 1,070 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins.

In recent weeks,hospitals across the state are facing long wait times and limited oxygen.

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