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Testing finds omicron variant in Orange and Seminole county wastewater

An Orange County wastewater treatment facility.
Orange County
An Orange County wastewater treatment facility.

The test that found the omicron variant in Orange County sewage is considered preliminary. The city of Altamonte Springs also found the highly contagious strain in its sewage.

The COVID-19 omicron variant has been detected in wastewater in Orange and Seminole counties.

The Orange County test that found the variant in sewage is considered preliminary. It’s a beta version, which is still being finalized.

“Initial results indicate that the omicron variant has been detected in Orange County in the South West Reclamation Facility and the North West Reclamation Facility,” according to a county news release.

Results from samples drawn Monday could be available for a COVID-19 briefing Wednesday afternoon. Actual cases of the variant have been found elsewhere in Florida, 33 other states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.

At the briefing, Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings is expected to urge residents to get fully vaccinated or get a booster shot.

Orange County recorded an increase in COVID-19 cases this past week, but the positivity rate was 3.3 percent.

Altamonte Springs in Seminole County also found the variant in its sewage. City manager Frank Martz told local news outlets on Saturday that the variant was detected in a wastewater sample collected Thursday.

The omicron variant has been detected in patents in Tampa, St. Lucie County and Miami-Dade County, as Tuesday. The strain is still under study by researchers but early reports show it to be highly transmissible but with milder symptoms the previous strains.

Copyright 2021 WMFE. To see more, visit WMFE.