The New York State Department of Health and the Wadsworth Center continue monitoring for and analyzing samples of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID 19.
The news comes as reports emerge of new strains. The major strain in question, BA.2.86, has been found in cases both in and outside of the United States. It’s been designated by the World Health Organization as a Variant Under Monitoring. In response to identifying this new strain, the Wadsworth Center immediately enhanced detection efforts in New York State through a dual approach of wastewater surveillance and laboratory analysis.
Collaborators at Syracuse University who routinely analyze wastewater data across the state were able to then search that data from the last six months to determine the strain wasn’t detected in New York. This process will continue to be used to help monitor for the variant in new wastewater samples.