No omicron variant detected in Altamonte Springs wastewater, testing shows

City leaders recently developed a test to indicate presence of variant in wastewater

Waste water treatment facility in Altamonte Springs (Copyright 2021 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. – No omicron variant was detected in Altamonte Springs, based on a sample taken from the sewage on Monday, according to the city manager.

City leaders recently developed a test to detect the presence of the new variant in the area’s wastewater. The city’s treatment plant covers parts of northern Orange County in addition to parts of Seminole County.

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Frank Martz, city manager of Altamonte Springs, emphasized the importance of conducting tests like these to track the spread of COVID-19 in the community.

“It’s important to be able to share that with hospital administrators and those people who are trying to do health policy for large areas,” Martz said. “We can tell them exactly what’s in our sewage and that knowledge makes us all safer.”

USF Health professor and virologist Dr. Michael Teng said many unknowns still swirl around this strain.

“The concern is if it can outcompete delta because of this immune evasion, then we’re going to have to increase the rate of vaccinations, maybe even make an omicron-specific booster, but again early days,” Teng said.

City officials will take another sample on Thursday, which they expect will yield results by this weekend.

About the Author:

Samantha started at WKMG-TV in September 2020. Before joining the News 6 team, Samantha was a political reporter for The Villages Daily Sun and has had freelance work featured in the Evansville Courier-Press and The Community Paper. When not writing, she enjoys travelling and performing improv comedy.