‘Big uptick’ in Ottawa’s coronavirus wastewater levels in recent days – CBC

Public health recommendations still to mask, vaccinate and stay home when sick

Jan 06, 2023

Levels of coronavirus in Ottawa’s wastewater are comparable to last January when the Omicron subvariant was at its first peak, some experts say.

“We’re seeing a big uptick,” said Tyson Graber, associate scientist at the CHEO Research Institute and co-lead investigator on the COVID-19 wastewater project in Ottawa.

According to the data, the SARS COV-2 signal in Ottawa’s wastewater roughly doubled between the third and fourth weeks of December, Graber said.

While Graber said the new XBB.1.5 COVID-19 subvariant likely isn’t in the nation’s capital in large quantities, it does remain a cause for concern.

But what’s likely driving the high levels, according to preliminary data, is the BQ.1.1 subvariant that appears to have entered Ottawa in November and spread through holiday celebrations, Graber said.

But while BQ.1.1 may be responsible for what brought us here, some experts believe XBB.1.5 — a mutated version of Omicron — could “outcompete” other subvariants with its already rapid rise in the U.S.

Read more: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/ottawa-covid-coronavirus-wastewater-level-high-variant-1.6705349

NationTalk Partners & Sponsors Learn More