Wastewater evaluation reveals one other huge COVID-19 surge in Saskatoon, extra variants

The evidence is in the water. For the second week in a row, data from the University of Saskatchewan’s analysis of Saskatoon’s wastewater shows COVID-19 is surging in the city.

The data shows between late July and Aug. 4, the virus spiked almost 400 per cent in two weeks, rising by 253 per cent and a further 118 per cent over the past two weeks.

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But despite the spike, the university said with more people vaccinated, fewer are getting severely ill.

“It’s most likely vaccinated people who are asymptomatic, or have fewer symptoms enough that they’re not going to hospital or … tested,” said toxicologist Dr. John Giesy.

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Researchers added several variants are on the rise in Saskatoon, including the Delta variant.

“This new Delta variant might be releasing more virus and sooner, and longer,” explained Giesy, who said it is likely also contributing to the spike.

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He said researchers have been seeing the Alpha variant pop up over the past few weeks, along with the Iota variant and Gamma variant, first seen in Brazil.

Giesy warns Saskatchewan needs to get more people fully vaccinated.

“By them not being vaccinated and passing the virus around, they make it possible to mutate and come back and get me even though I went out and got both shots,” he explained.

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Click to play video: 'Majority of Saskatchewan’s July COVID-19 cases in unvaccinated people, province reports'


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Majority of Saskatchewan’s July COVID-19 cases in unvaccinated people, province reports


Majority of Saskatchewan’s July COVID-19 cases in unvaccinated people, province reports

He said when less of the population is immune, there’s more opportunity for COVID-19 to mutate, and could beat the vaccine.

They stress the importance of being vaccinated as we get closer to the fall and unrestricted gatherings migrate inside.

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Giesy advises continuing health measures personally, like avoiding large gatherings, if you are concerned about possible spread.


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