Thursday, July 21st, 2022, 2:15pm
The Colorado Wastewater Surveillance Program at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is currently monitoring levels of COVID-19 by measuring the quantity of COVID-19 genetic material in wastewater. This information is used to track trends of viral concentration in wastewater for participating communities. An increasing trend in an area served by a participating wastewater treatment plant could be an early indicator that COVID-19 transmission may soon increase.
Recent results from the Town of Nederland Treatment Facility indicate COVID-19 transmission may be increasing in our community. Since June 2nd, viral concentration levels in the Town of Nederland have increased by over 220 percent.
Research has shown that the virus that causes COVID-19 can be detected in wastewater as many as four to seven days before we see an increase in case counts or hospitalizations. We urge residents to act now to protect themselves and their families. Residents should be on alert, stay up to date with CDC recommendations, and adhere to prevention efforts such as frequent hand-washing and getting vaccinated.
Boulder County Public Health is using wastewater data, along with community case counts and hospitalization data, to determine how we respond.
Symptoms of COVID-19 may include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, get tested as soon as possible, even if you’re up to date on all COVID-19 vaccines or aren’t sure if you’ve been exposed. Follow instructions on how to isolate until you feel better. If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and you aren’t up to date with COVID-19 vaccines, you should follow the instructions on how to quarantine to prevent potential disease spread. Get tested at least five days after the time you think you were exposed.
Testing is available for free at sites across the state, and Coloradans can also order free rapid at-home tests directly from the federal government. People who believe they may be infected with COVID-19 can access COVID-19 testing and treatments at locations enrolled in the federal Test to Treat program. If you test positive for COVID-19, you may be able to get treatment to help you get better. Treatment is for people who currently have mild to moderate symptoms and are not in the hospital for COVID-19, but who are at high risk of getting very sick. You should get treatment within a few days of when you start to feel symptoms. If you are at high risk and have COVID-19, ask your health care provider about treatment as soon as you can, or reach out to a Test to Treat location directly. Learn more about where to find treatment at covid19.colorado.gov/treatments.
People who are moderately to severely immunocompromised or who can’t get vaccinated against COVID-19 may get a monoclonal antibody treatment called Evusheld. It can help keep you from getting sick with COVID-19. It isn’t for people who already have COVID-19 or have recently been exposed to COVID-19.
Vaccines are the safest, most effective way to slow the spread of COVID-19 and its variants, and help avoid the worst outcomes (severe illness, hospitalization, and death) among those who do become infected. More information about COVID vaccines, as well as assistance scheduling an appointment, is available at covid19.colorado.gov/vaccine. You can also call Colorado’s Vaccine Hotline to get help finding a vaccine. Call 1-877-CO VAX CO (1-877-268-2926).
There are nearly 2,000 vaccine providers across Colorado, including pharmacies, doctor’s offices, and state-run mobile vaccine buses. The COVID-19 vaccine is free. Coloradans do not need identification or insurance to get vaccinated and are entitled to paid time off from work to get vaccinated and recover from any side effects.
Continue to stay up to date by visiting covid19.colorado.gov.
For additional local data and details on the wastewater program and its monitoring methods, visit https://covid19.colorado.gov/covid-19-monitoring-in-wastewater.