By HEATHER HOLLINGSWORTH
The highly contagious omicron coronavirus variant has spread across much of Missouri, wastewater testing data released Friday shows. The variant has now been detected at low levels in 15 of the 63 test locations, including in St Louis, Kansas City, Jefferson City, Columbia, Branson, St. Joseph, Union, Clinton, Warrensburg and Fulton, said Jeff Wenzel, who oversees the wastewater surveillance program for the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. He said the latest data shows the results of genetic sequencing that was conducted on samples that were collected the week of Dec. 13. Samples collected just one week earlier detected the variant in just two treatment facilities, one in St. Joseph and the other in the Kansas City area.