Saskatchewan

It's not over yet: COVID-19 presence remains high in Saskatchewan: wastewater analysis

The COVID-19 viral load remains high in Saskatchewan, according to researchers who analyse wastewater in cities across the province. 

Small but steady increases in viral load detected in several cities

The City of Saskatoon's wastewater treatment plant. Wastewater analysis shows the city's COVID-19 viral load remains high. (Submitted by the City of Saskatoon)

The COVID-19 viral load remains high in Saskatchewan, according to researchers who analyze wastewater in cities across the province. 

Researchers at the University of Regina say the viral load in Regina's wastewater has increased slightly, part of a trend that has seen a small but steady, week-over-week increase in the viral load in the city since July. 

The U of R researchers have been sampling the city's wastewater for the presence of COVID-19 since Aug. 2020. 

Before the Omicron wave, the highest viral load levels in Regina's wastewater were recorded in mid-December 2020 and April 2021, coinciding with high infection rates in the Regina area, according to researchers. 

The data collected during the latest reporting period shows that COVID-19 levels have increased slightly from the previous week and remain high. 

It's a similar story in other major centres in Saskatchewan. 

The figures in Prince Albert, North Battleford and Saskatoon remain high, continuing a trend that has developed over the past month, the University of Saskatchewan's latest wastewater analysis shows. 

In North Battleford the viral load increased by 51.3 per from the previous reporting period, while the viral load in Saskatoon increased by 5.6 per cent. 

The viral load in Prince Albert, while still considered high, has decreased by 25.3 per cent.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alexander Quon is a reporter with CBC Saskatchewan based in Regina. After working in Atlantic Canada for four years he's happy to be back in his home province. He has previously worked with the CBC News investigative unit in Nova Scotia and Global News in Halifax. Alexander specializes in data-reporting, COVID-19 and municipal political coverage. He can be reached at: Alexander.Quon@cbc.ca.

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