To read this story in Spanish, click here. (This story was updated at 9:09 p.m. on May 5, 2022, to include an accurate hyperlink to “vaccination and booster rates” on OHA’s website.) Now that Oregon’s mask mandate has ended for most indoor public spaces, people may feel uncertain or uneasy about venturing out without masks. […]
Scientists in Oregon are searching for the Omicron variant somewhere you may not expect. In collaboration with Oregon State University (OSU), Oregon Health Authority’s wastewater surveillance program monitors sewage for variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The program launched in September 2020 tests wastewater for COVID-19 in more than 40 communities throughout the state, covering more than 60 percent of Oregon’s population. All positive wastewater samples are sequenced to determine trends (increasing, decreasing, plateau) and which variants are circulating in communities.