Wastewater Samples Show Presence of Omicron Variant

The omicron variant has quickly surpassed the delta variant in collections taken from wastewater sampling sites in Orange County, Florida, officials said. A sampling this week showed that omicron represented almost 100% of the strains in the samples from the wastewater facilities, Orange County Utilities spokesperson Sarah Lux said in an email.

The variant is present in wastewater samples even though there have been no evidence of clinical infections.

Scientists have said omicron is more contagious than delta, but it’s unclear whether omicron’s rapid spread will overwhelm hospitals. They said it’s too soon to draw conclusions since the variant is quite new and hospitalizations can lag weeks behind infections.