Researchers doing wastewater testing find COVID-19 spikes in Saskatoon and North Battleford

·1 min read
A look at the UV filtering system used at the City of Saskatoon's wastewater treatment plant. (Submitted by the City of Saskatoon - image credit)
A look at the UV filtering system used at the City of Saskatoon's wastewater treatment plant. (Submitted by the City of Saskatoon - image credit)

Coronavirus particles have spiked in Saskatoon and North Battleford wastewater, according to the latest report from researchers studying it.

That means COVID-19 numbers will likely leap in the coming weeks in those cities.

Researchers from the University of Saskatchewan continue to monitor the wastewater from three Saskatchewan cities for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

The Global Institute for Water Security said on its website that there has been an increase in viral RNA (Ribonucleic acid) in samples taken from the wastewater treatment plants in Saskatoon and North Battleford over the last week.

Global Institute for Water Security
Global Institute for Water Security

Data from Sept. 15 to Sept. 22 for Saskatoon shows a 99 per cent week-over-week increase in viral load in the city's wastewater, according to the institute.

This increase is indicative of a rise in COVID-19 infections in Saskatoon. The institute says that in a partially vaccinated population, these numbers may or may not be reflected by a increase in case numbers in upcoming weeks.

Global Institute for Water Security
Global Institute for Water Security

Meanwhile, researchers found a 67 per cent week-over-week increase in viral RNA load in North Battleford's wastewater from Sept. 10 to Sept. 16.

All of the variant viral load in Saskatoon and North Battleford wastewater is the delta variant.

There are no updates on Prince Albert wastewater data this week due to issues with the samples, according to the institute. Samples will be re-run, and if successful, results will be included in next Monday's report.

A 33 per cent week-over-week decrease in viral RNA load in Prince Albert's wastewater was observed during the last reporting period, up to Sept. 13.

Global Institute for Water Security
Global Institute for Water Security
Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting