Saskatchewan. COVID-19 sewage levels remain low, though some cities see rising trend: report

Viral loads in sewage in Saskatoon, North Battleford and Prince Albert are trending up but still below the 2022 average, University of Saskatchewan researchers observe in their new weekly COVID-19 report.

The researchers monitored the three cities to determine the viral load and provide insight into the presence of the virus in these regions.

In an email, one of the main researchers, John Giesy, said that the viral RNA load in Prince Albert’s sewage had increased by about 58% and that of Saskatoon by about 25% compared to the report. of last week.

While the viral load is down about 17% in North Battleford, Giesy said all three towns are trending upwards.

Prince Albert has trended higher over the past seven weeks, while Saskatoon and North Battleford have seen increases over the past four weeks.

Despite this, according to reports, the three cities represent only a fraction of the viral load peak seen in January.

For example, North Battleford recorded around 7% of January peak levels, while Prince Albert reached around 10%.

The emerging Omicron BA.5 subvariant has become the most prominent strain of COVID-19 in Saskatoon and Prince Albert, and the second most prominent subvariant in North Battleford, according to the report.

The University of Regina’s weekly sewage analysis has not yet been released.

Samples in Saskatoon were collected between July 28 and August 3, samples in Prince Albert were collected between July 26 and August 1, and samples in North Battleford were collected between July 23 and July 29.

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