Wastewater COVID-19 levels shifting in southern Sask.: data

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)

The University of Regina's COVID-19 wastewater data shows a varied picture of the continuing pandemic in southern Saskatchewan.

Omicron levels in Regina remained high for the Oct. 16 to 22 reporting period, though they decreased slightly from the previous reporting week. The scale is based on the highest weekly Omicron levels in early 2022.

In Moose Jaw, the levels decreased significantly and are now considered moderate, with the scale being based on the highest weekly Omicron levels measured in that city in early 2022.

In Yorkton, viral levels are up slightly, pushing the Omicron levels to what researchers consider "moderate-high." The scale has the same basis as the previous two cities.

Last month, University of Regina molecular biologist and researcher Tzu-Chiao Chao said the Omicron BQ1.1 and BQ1.11 subvariants had been identified in samples sent to the National Microbiology Laboratory in early September.

Researchers regularly take samples from sewage plants in Saskatchewan cities and look for evidence of COVID-19. The information is shared with the Saskatchewan Health Authority and can be used to predict whether case numbers are expected to rise or fall.