Publication date: Sep 21, 2023
In Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany, a system of three data sources has been established to track the Covid-19 pandemic. These sources are the number of Covid-19-related hospitalizations, the Covid-19 genecopies in wastewater, and the prevalence derived from a cohort study. This paper presents an extensive comparison of these parameters. It is investigated whether wastewater data and a cohort study can be valid surrogate parameters for the number of hospitalizations and thus serve as predictors for coming Covid-19 waves. We observe that this is possible in general for the cohort study prevalence, while the wastewater data suffer from a too large variability to make quantitative predictions by a purely data-driven approach. However, the wastewater data as well as the cohort study prevalence are able to detect hospitalizations waves in a qualitative manner. Furthermore, a detailed comparison of different normalization techniques of wastewater data is provided.