SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — Yolo County health officials are warning about an uptick in COVID-19 cases in the community, with the stealth omicron variant accounting for most cases.
With COVID-19 no longer on top of the mind of many people, testing demand in Yolo County and across California has plummeted.
Yolo County Public Health Officer Dr. Aimee Sisson said she suspects COVID-19 is circulating more than what testing reflects.
So, they’re looking for the disease in other places.
“Because everybody uses the restroom and so we can see what’s happening with virus transmission by looking at wastewater without having to depend on the case rates, which rely on individuals seeking out testing,” Sisson said.
While COVID-19 case and positivity rates from testing are slighting increasing in California, wastewater has been indicating this was to come.
“The way we hope to use it is to see trends in the wastewater before it ends up with a lot of people sick and in the hospital,” Sisson said.
The stealth omicron variant, also known as the more contagious BA.2 subvariant, has accounted for 95% of Yolo County’s COVID-19 cases.
But Sisson doesn’t see it leading to a major strain on the health system.
“We could see what I think if anything will be a small wave with BA.2,” Sisson said. “I think we have enough immunity from people who were already infected with the original omicron, people who have been vaccinated that we aren’t going to see a big increase in cases.”
Her best advice remains to stay current on vaccinations and wear a high-quality mask indoors.