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COVID-19′s sixth wave is here. Quebec’s institute of public health says the sixth wave began in mid-March. On Monday, Ontario premier Doug Ford said the province is in the midst of a “little spike” but that it’s manageable. Hospitalizations are up by about 30 per cent since the week before. And in Alberta, the province’s Health Minister Jason Copping acknowledged an uptick in case positivity rate.
With PCR tests not as widely available as they once were, scientists and public health officials have found another way to track COVID-19: wastewater, or sewage.
Dr. Lawrence Goodridge is a professor of food microbiology at the University of Guelph who is leading a team of people testing wastewater. He’s part of Ontario’s wastewater Surveillance Initiative which samples 170 locations across the province accounting for more than 75 per cent of the population. He tells us what the samples are telling him right now, and why this tool is an important one for this pandemic and for the future.