By NewsDesk  @bactiman63

City of Houston health officials reported this week that the more contagious variant of the COVID-19 virus, the UK variant B.1.1.7, was detected widespread in Houston’s wastewater.


Samples collected on February 22 detected the U.K. variant at 31 of the city’s 39 wastewater treatment plants. That’s an increase from February 8 when it was detected at 21 of the treatment plants.

“The prevalence of the U.K. variant in our wastewater shows it’s actively spreading in our city,” said Dr. David Persse, chief medical officer for the City of Houston. “This is another clear indication that we must continue to mask up, practice social distancing, wash our hands, get tested and, get vaccinated when possible.”

“I am concerned about this new data on the U.K. strain of the virus in Houston, especially at a time when the State of Texas is easing mandates on measures proven to reduce transmission and ultimately save lives,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner. “Despite the mixed messaging, this is a clear indication that it is too soon to stop requiring masks in public places. I urge all Houstonians to continue masking up to protect their families and community.”

Wastewater sample results for other highly transmissible variants, including the South Africa, Brazil, and California variants, are pending.