New spike in wastewater COVID-19 viral loads concerns researchers at U of S – CBC

Saskatoon, Prince Albert, North Battleford all seeing rising levels

Oct 31, 2022

After almost a month of declining numbers, researchers at the University of Saskatchewan say they have seen a jump in COVID-19 viral load in samples taken from wastewater treatment plants in Saskatoon, Prince Albert and North Battleford.

On Monday, researchers at Global Water Futures at the U of S said that evidence of COVID-19 had increased in Saskatoon by 51 per cent compared to the week before. Meanwhile, Prince Albert saw an increase of 86 per cent and North Battleford saw an increase of 58.7 per cent.

Researchers use the wastewater studies to predict whether COVID-19 case numbers will likely be increasing or decreasing in the near future.

The team is continuing to rate the viral load in all three cities as medium.

While a one-week increase is generally not enough to alarm the team, the researchers are concerned about a current spike in Ontario, where hospitalizations recently reached their highest point since February.

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