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Idaho COVID dashboard adds wastewater data

Microscopic view of the coronavirus: a grey globe surrounded by clusters of red spikes
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Wastewater data from 10 Idaho counties tracking the coronavirus are now available in one place.

Data from 15 participating sewer treatment plants across the counties can now be found on the state’s main COVID-19 dashboard.

The statistics track whether concentrations of the virus are declining, holding steady or increasing over time.

Because people can shed the virus in their waste before they know they’re sick, CDC experts say that data can be used as a warning sign of a potential outbreak in a community.

However, it doesn’t include homes using septic systems, or municipal systems where waste is treated prior to reaching a centralized plant.

Rapid, at-home tests aren’t necessarily reported to local health districts and those with mild or no symptoms might not get tested at all.

Daily case counts in Idaho have held pretty steady since an uptick in July.

Hospitalizations have crept back up to nearly 200 statewide – levels last seen on the downswing of the original omicron surge a few months ago.

Follow James Dawson on Twitter @RadioDawson for more local news.

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I cover politics and a bit of everything else for Boise State Public Radio. Outside of public meetings, you can find me fly fishing, making cool things out of leather or watching the Seattle Mariners' latest rebuilding season. If you have a tip, please get in touch!

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