Alberta Mirror

Friday, September 29, 2023

Wastewater COVID-19 counts are growing in Edmonton and Calgary


Key takeaways:

  • ‘There are just more options for the virus to spread,’ the health minister says.
  • Health Minister Jason Copping declared wastewater counts are climbing in Edmonton and Calgary.

Wastewater COVID-19 counts are climbing in Alberta as the novel coronavirus finds more options to spread, Health Minister Jason Copping stated Wednesday.

“Several locations across the region, including Edmonton and Calgary, are showing initial signs of rising trends,” Copping said in the region’s weekly update.

“However, as we know, wastewater data can be highly variable, so we will persist in monitoring these levels and other leading indicators in the forthcoming days and coming weeks.”

Alberta’s positivity rate is up barely from the previous week.

Over the prior week, the daily positivity rate of PCR tests went from 21.7 percent to 27.1 percent, with an average of 24.5 percent — a slight addition from the 22 percent average in the last seven days, Copping said.

Read more: Ukrainians escaping the Russian attack arrive in Edmonton on an aid flight

Wastewater COVID-19 counts are climbing in Alberta

“Given that we have raised the extensive majority of public health measures over the previous seven weeks, it is not surprising that we are noticing a small increase in transmission of COVID across the region,” he said.

“There are merely more options for the virus to spread as more and more people work from the office, return to traveling, mix in various settings and continue their normal routines.”

Is the sixth wave coming?

Lab testing has seen that almost 70 percent of positive cases in Alberta are the Omicron BA.2 subvariant, making it the dominant pressure of coronavirus in the region.

“Fortunately, the available proof does not so far urge that it induces more intense illness than the last Omicron strain,” Copping said.

He hesitated to say if the region is looking at the sixth wave of COVID-19.

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