Monday, December 21, 2020

'High Levels' of COVID in Rio Dell, CM Says

Posted By on Mon, Dec 21, 2020 at 2:17 PM

Rio Dell officials are warning residents that a drastic spike in COVID-19 levels has been detected in the city’s wastewater during regular testing.

(Read more about how wastewater, such as from toilets, showers, sinks, can be used to track the virus and collect other forms of data, as has been previously done with other diseases such as polio, from the Centers for Disease Control here.)

Biobot Analytics has been conducting the testing, which is forwarded to Public Health.

According to Rio Dell, COVID levels have gone from “non-detectable” or at least below the nation average from Oct. 1 to Dec. 3 before seeing a rapid rise, in a Dec. 17 test that showed “higher concentration levels than 84 percent of all quantifiable samples collected nationwide by Biobot Analytics in the past six weeks,” the release states. “This level is well above the median national average.”

That, city officials say, means COVID is circulating in the community.

“This information further supplements and confirms the observations of the County Health Department,” Rio Dell City Manager Kyle Knopp said in a release. “The virus is present in this small community at high levels. We provide this information as another tool residents can use when making their plans over the holiday season and near future.”

The release notes Rio Dell residents have access to COVID testing at sites in the area, including:
  • Palco Pharmacy (appointment required) 113 Main St Suite D, Scotia, CA 95565 (707) 764-3591
  • Southern Trinity Health Services, Scotia Bluffs (call first) 500 B Street, Scotia, California 95565 (707) 764-5617
  • Optum Serve Redwood Acres and occasionally Fortuna (register beforehand) lhi.care 888-634-1123

Read the city of Rio Dell release below: 
Since October 1st of this year, the City of Rio Dell has been conducting COVID-19 surveillance testing at its Wastewater Treatment Plant. The testing, through Biobot Analytics, samples the inflow of untreated wastewater in order to isolate the unique genetic signature of SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) and analyze the amount of the virus present. The Biobot Analytics testing is done independently and results have been forwarded to the Public Health Officer since the inception of the program. Between October 1st and December 3rd test results have ranged from ‘non-detect’ to detection at levels below the national average. On December 17, 2020, the City of Rio Dell conducted its latest test showing higher concentration levels than 84% of all quantifiable samples collected nationwide by Biobot Analytics in the past six weeks. This level is well above the median national average. “This information further supplements and confirms the observations of the County Health Department.” Stated Rio Dell City Manager Kyle Knopp. “The virus is present in this small community at high levels. We provide this information as another tool residents can use when making their plans over the holiday season and near future.” The City continues to encourage mask wearing, social distancing, regular hand washing, regular surface cleaning, testing and staying home when sick as good methods to slow the virus and protect the community’s fragile health systems. Rio Dell residents have nearby access to testing: Palco Pharmacy (appointment required) 113 Main St Suite D, Scotia, CA 95565 (707) 764-3591 Southern Trinity Health Services, Scotia Bluffs (call first) 500 B Street, Scotia, California 95565 (707) 764-5617 Optum Serve Redwood Acres and occasionally Fortuna (register beforehand) lhi.care 888-634-1123
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Kimberly Wear

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Kimberly Wear is the assistant editor of the North Coast Journal.

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