COVID-19: Virus detected in wastewater jumps more than 100% in Prince Albert

A health-care worker tests a woman at a pop-up COVID-19 assessment centre at the Angela James Arena during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on May 19, 2021. Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press

The amount of COVID-19 present in Prince Albert’s wastewater has more than doubled.

The latest findings from the University of Saskatchewan monitoring team show the amount of virus RNA jumped up 112.7 per cent over the previous reporting period.

USask toxicologist John Giesy told Global News “100 per cent is a doubling.”

The latest findings from the University of Saskatchewan Global Institute for Water Security shows the amount of COVID-19 RNA in Prince Albert’s wastewater more than doubled since the last reporting period. Supplied by John Giesy

“It sounds like a lot, but it’s about typical for what we see when we’re on the upward swing in one of these waves. So that seems to be increasing at this point in time.”

Story continues below advertisement

The amount of virus RNA increased 60.1 per cent in North Battleford, while it decreased 35.5 per cent in Saskatoon.

Breaking news from Canada and around the world sent to your email, as it happens.

All or nearly all the detected virus is BA.2, the more transmissible Omicron subvariant.

Click to play video: 'COVID-19: Canada’s top doctor recommends still wearing masks as BA.2 variant fuels 6th wave'
COVID-19: Canada’s top doctor recommends still wearing masks as BA.2 variant fuels 6th wave

In Saskatoon, BA.2 accounts for 100 per cent of the detected virus, in North Battleford it’s 97.8 per cent and in Prince Albert, the latest variant accounts for 80.6.

Giesy also said they may – and he stressed “may”— have spotted trace amounts of what could be a new “X” lineage.

“These X variants are various versions of a recombination of the Omicron BA.1 and Omicron BA.2. They seem to somehow have fused back together,” he said.

Story continues below advertisement

“We’ve seen some evidence that looks like it might be here, but I’m not willing to say it’s here for sure. If it is here for sure, then I will develop a targeted assay to watch for it,” he said.

Giesy told Global News researchers will continue to examine the samples for developments.

Sponsored content