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Deer Island numbers suggest local Covid-19 surge might be about to ease

Covid-19 numbers at Deer Island dropping

The latest Covid-19 sampling data from sewage at the MWRA's Deer Island treatment plant show a significant decrease, which might indicate that the current surge is cresting and could soon begin to ease in a week to ten days.

Experts at Northeastern had earlier predicted an easing in the near vertical increases in Covid-19 cases would begin in mid-January.

The testing at Deer Island by Biobot, an MIT spinoff, an has become a tool for predicting Covid-19 numbers over coming days in the Boston area served by the MWRA - people begin excreting viral particles before they realize they're sick or need to be tested.

The news would be welcome at area hospitals, which have seen a surge in admissions, as well as at local workplaces, which has similarly seen a corresponding increase in absences due to the omicron strain. However, the decline signaled by Deer Island would still mean Covid-19 rates significantly higher than last winter's surge.

The latest actual numbers of new Covid-19 cases reported by the state showed 17,802 new confirmed cases today, down from the 27,612 new confirmed Covid-19 cases reported on Jan. 6. However, the state reported 2,970 people with Covid-19 yesterday, up from 2,923 the day before. The state also reported 116 new confirmed Covid-19 deaths.

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Magoo just went number 2 and will add to this downward trend. Magoo.


I'm not sure if the bio data is normalized against the volume of effluent that comes from the storm drain water. We had that snowfall last Friday, and the snowmelt could have diluted the quantity of Viral RNA in the system.

I'm not trying to be a wet blanket here, just trying to ask a question.


Any major rain storm, which would produce a lot more runoff, would have resulted in greater dilution. We got less than an inch of liquid equivalent, and it did take a while for it to melt.

That said, it is an interesting question.


I suspect that it is normalized for total flow volume, so that lower concentrations in high water volumes would be adjusted to get a standardized concentration reading.

But I don't know that for sure, so I'll continue to poke around.

That also doesn't adjust for those epic rainfall times - like last summer - when some of it went out the combined sewer overflows and into the rivers.

It's normalized against the presence of a different virus (pepper mild mottled virus) of which there's apparently a constant fecal sample of



To both of you.

Now I have to worry about pepper mild mottled virus? What do I wear/inject/smear on/eat/shove up my keister to prevent this one?


if you are a pepper plant. If so, I have more questions.


It might not be curative, but you might not care anymore:



This pandemic began and ends with a confusion about masks and testing at CDC.


...for a current poop report. Thanks!

Flushed with excitement!


Literally. :)

Next major peak first week of February.

Or is it a "live Covid bounce"?

Next major peak in...cases? Hospitalizations? Deaths?

And why? Because that's roughly the frequency the numbers have been bouncing at for the past six months.

*Maybe* the huge surge (or the nature of Omicron itself) will disrupt the pattern, but I think we're likely to continue to see the oscillations. Probably has to do with small surges in subpopulations (social graph clusters) which then "burn out", before the next subpopulation is exposed.

[edit: typo]

is from Magoo.