Full Version: SCC uh-oh?
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While the detected cases in Santa Clara County remain low (slight uptick, but a fraction of the level of in other parts of the country), the covid genes in the wastewater systems is rising.

Palo Alto is about 4x what it was two weeks ago and climbing fast, starting 1 week ago.
Sunnyvale and Gilroy are about 1.8x what they were two weeks ago.
San Jose has a slight upward trend but not much.

If you remember, Palo Ato had a bump in these measurements a month or so ago and then it came down.
I am wondering if this is detection of sewage from Stanford Hospital.
Maybe the B school students are back in town.
I didn't think about an influx of students as bringing in COVID. It certainly seems possible, but without knowing Stanford's schedule, I wouldn't want to assume that might be the cause. If levels in the community were low, and an equal number of COVID infections arrived, that could be it.

I was wondering if there could have been superspreader events, where a number of people got sick nearly simultaneously. It is a steep increase.

The measurements are percentages. So it isn't that more sewage means a higher measurement.
My comment was specific to the business school. I was being snarky about covidiocy at the GSB. I doubt the numbers at the GSB would be great enough to cause a large increase at the Palo Alto sewage plant.

The Daily had an article a week ago about how the new cases at Stanford the previous week had been overwhelmingly business school students (13 out of 14). See A Daily article published in February described a long record of reckless behavior by GSB students. The most notorious incidents have been way off campus during breaks. See
Talking about questionable behavior, I was surprised with what I saw at the local park over the weekend. The park is adjacent to Monte Vista HS and they were hosting their cross town rival San Ramon for the final football game of the season. San Ramon parents took over a small area of the park, about six picnic tables, for their pre-game tailgate. There were at least a hundred parents there, crammed around the tables, eating and drinking and chatting away, nary a mask in sight.

I'd pontificate on the reckless behavior, but I have to yell at some kids to get off my lawn. . . .
Yelling and/or cheering will be one of the most effective ways of spreading saliva particles.  Much more effective than singing or chanting.   I haven't seen it documented, but I expect that yelling & cheering cause the uninfected person to inhale more air (& particles), and to inhale more deeply, which I suspect increases the chance of infection.

IMO, being densely packed outdoors invalidates the advantage of being outside.  Maybe a large portion of the exhaled/yelled particles will rise above the crowd and drift away, but I have to believe that a lot will drift around in eddies amongst the people's bodies.

While I feel comfortable that my & my family's chances of getting COVID (and the risks that causes) have greatly diminished because of the vaccine, I don't want to see others get sick if they could have easily avoided it.  (Yes, indirectly, their getting sick increases my risk.)
On average, how much does sewage lag as an indicator?

If one tests with PCR due to symptoms only, it lags by about 3 days (asymptomatic) plus two days (PCR test delay). Hospitalization is 2 weeks or so, and ICU another week added to that. It could be that sewage is an earlier indicator if virus were shed early on. For a respiratory disease, however, I expect it to be shed in waste later in the disease than the droplets.