Evaluation of Saskatoon’s wastewater factors to say no in COVID-19 circumstances

According to the latest update to the wastewater monitoring project, there could be a decline in the number of new COVID-19 cases in Saskatoon in the next seven to ten days.

Figures released Monday by the University of Saskatchewan’s team said viral RNA levels in the city’s wastewater fell 31 percent between May 6 and May 12, compared to the previous week.

However, the team warns that in some cases, this may not represent a similar decline.

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“Declines are roughly indicative of expected declines in new positive cases,” the team notes on its website.

“It is important to note that the magnitudes of these changes are not always proportional … it should rather be seen as a gauge of the direction of the change.”

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The most recent update found that 77 percent of viral RNA load in wastewater is due to worrying variant B.1.1.7, which was first identified in the UK. That is 44 percent more than in the previous week.

The occurrence of the P.1 variant first identified in Brazil was confirmed in the wastewater, while the B.1.351 variant first identified in South Africa was not present.

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Saskatchewan reported 54 new COVID-19 cases in Saskatoon on Monday. There are currently 562 active cases in the city, the highest total in the province.

Since the novel coronavirus can be detected through human feces before a person could show symptoms, the analysis is seen as a signal of what the COVID-19 case numbers might look like seven to ten days later.

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