MARSHALL COUNTY, W.Va. (WTRF)

“It isn’t over, by any means,” said Mark Ackermann, Marshall County threat preparedness director.

The post-Christmas spike in COVID cases was dramatic, but Ackermann says the numbers now are even higher.

There’s good news and bad news associated with that.

The bad: the numbers they’re seeing are only the tip of the iceberg because most people are doing a home test, and those numbers are not recorded.

The good news: the symptoms seem to be milder, they have only one county resident currently hospitalized and they’ve had no deaths since mid-April.

They presume what they’re experiencing is the Omicron BA-2 subvariant.

So how does the CDC know how prevalent COVID is right now?

Ackermann says it sounds strange, but they’re testing our sewage.

“Sewage operators are turning in samples to the state,” he noted. “They’re able to get a fairly accurate picture of what’s going on in that community from those samples.”

He says if you’re not feeling well, get the test.

And if it’s positive, quarantine at home for five days.

“But don’t ignore those symptoms because you could spread it to somebody else,” he urged.

He said there are very few free test sites these days.

So he says the easiest thing to do is go online to COVIDtests.gov and you can order two free test kits per household, which is eight tests.