Santa Clara County’s wastewater monitoring program has detected a sharp increase in COVID-19 levels over the past month, according to a statement released by the county this week.
The wastewater monitoring report revealed that the County’s four sewer sheds are currently in the high category for COVID-19 concentration levels. Specifically, Palo Alto, Gilroy, and San Jose are higher now than they were in January 2022, at the height of the Omicron surge last winter. Meanwhile, levels in Sunnyvale match their 2021 peak.
The County stressed that the rise in COVID-19 levels along with high levels of flu and Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) across the state should serve as a reminder to residents to get both their flu and updated COVID-19 vaccines ahead of the holidays.
The County has used its wastewater monitoring program for nearly three years and praises its accuracy in detecting rising and falling COVID-19 community transmission levels. County officials also said the program is a particularly important tool, considering the rise of at-home COVID-19 tests, which are not reported, and therefore, do not show up in official case counts.
COVID-19 hospitalizations in Santa Clara County also rose over the past month, jumping from 89 on November 1 to 218 on December 2. Just 25% of the County’s residents eligible for the bivalent booster have received one.
For more information about COVID-19 and vaccinations in Santa Clara County, visit the County’s Health Department website.