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Wastewater samples test positive for COVID-19 ‘California Variant’

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Wastewater Plant Lincoln City

Samples of L452R, a highly contagious “California variant” of COVID-19 have been detected by Oregon State University researchers in Lincoln City’s wastewater treatment plant.

First reported by OPB Friday, sewage sampling from wastewater plants in Albany, Forest Grove, Klamath Falls, Lincoln City, Silverton and the OSU campus detected the more contagious strain of COVID-19 using genetic sequencing.

The L452R variant has been around since last March but has recently been the cause of large outbreaks in California’s Santa Clara County and has spread throughout Southern California. Tests have shown COVID-19 vaccines may be less effective against the variant.

The City of Lincoln City issued a news release Saturday, saying it has been participating in OSU’s TRACE project to sample wastewater from municipal systems for COVID-19 and its variants.

“Lincoln City hasn’t received the test results that identified this variant as reported by OPB,” Public Works Director Lila Bradley said. “City officials are in contact with OHA and OPB representatives to learn more about the testing results and will report their findings as quickly as possible.”

OSU’s Center for Genome Research and Biocomputing and co-principal investigator of TRACE Brett Tyler said: “We’re somewhat concerned about this strain, but it’s not as concerning as the U.K., South African and Brazilian strains, but we do want to keep a close eye on it.”

The sampling of virus shed via feces can be detected in sewage and depending where the testing is done, can tell researchers where the virus is coming from, such as schools, hospitals, neighborhoods and other facilities. This can potentially lead to effective monitoring of outbreaks.

Oregon Health Authority and OSU plan to increase their sewage sampling efforts to include every county in the state.

Justin Werner
I'm publisher of Lincoln City Homepage. Also the web guy, photographer, cameraman, video editor, sportswriter, tech support, beat reporter, cat trainer and e-bike enthusiast. I have a passion for telling people's stories and keeping my fellow citizens informed.

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  1. Can we pass a law forcing people to wash their hands too? According to one bit of research, 69% of men don’t wash their hands every time they use a toilet or urinal. Another study suggests that 6% of men only wash their hands after pooing, but not after doing a number one.

  2. I have emphysema jerk! Chet you are tactless.
    I also am a tradeperson, roofing was my specialty, I am in as good shape
    than most people without a breathing disability.
    Wow! you must be a real people person. Try stuffing a sock in your mouth,
    that’s what emphysema is like, you’ll get tired using buttwipe.

  3. Wow, you must be a pretty fragile little snowflake if you can’t breathe through a thin piece of paper. I’ve been wearing a mask 40 hours a week for the last 8 months “going out and actually working” and having my health put at risk by spoiled entitled crybabies like you two. If you have so much trouble breathing through a mask, either stay home or look into a thing called “exercise.”

  4. Nobody is going to get 2 or 3 masks on me as long as I’m alive.
    I can barely breathe wearing one.
    Idiots rule, don’t they?
    Covid is the new “internet” and everyone thought they’d get rich at home
    wearing pj’s. Myself included. I’ll let this bandwagon roll by.
    After all, someone has to go out and actually work.

  5. It’s the common cold, folks. They have been trying to find a vaccine for 60 years. They knew whoever cured the common cold would get rich. But since it mutates so fast, there will never be any effective vaccine. But that won’t stop them from making their money one way or another. Don’t forget to buy more masks, so you can wear three at a time!

  6. So now there’s what? 4 variants of the original man made virus? That’s nice.
    Anyone ever see anything like this before? Perhaps in some movie?
    The news we hear-that we hear, just gets worse by the minute.
    That’s what they are willing to admit. When zombies knock on my door,
    I’m going to be ready. Maybe that’s why there’s no ammunition at Bimart.


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