“In a cup-half-full analysis, our daily case counts have stabilized,” County Health Director Dr. Debra Bogen said in a Jan. 19 press conference, hoping that cases would soon decline.

Bogen said results of municipal wastewater monitoring from the first week of January indicated more than 90% of the virus detected was the omicron variant. She added that now, nearly two weeks later, the percentage is most likely higher. 

The wastewater monitoring program is in the developing stages of tracking emerging variants and will be used to predict future surges, Bogen said during the press conference. 

Due to the increase of home testing, new cases of COVID-19 in state data are undercounted, because home test results are not added to the state reporting system. However, to improve the local data of new cases, and the county recently launched a new voluntary online self-test reporting form

PublicSource has been tracking COVID-19’s spread on a daily basis since March 2020. More than a year later, in an effort to direct our resources into enterprise reporting on the pandemic and other important issues, we will cover the Allegheny County Health Department’s weekly briefing on Wednesdays and update the numbers on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. We may adjust as the prevalence of the coronavirus ebbs and flows. If you have questions or comments, please email PublicSource’s managing editor halle@publicsource.org.

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