COVID-19: Wastewater shows decline of virus in Waterloo Region may have hit a wall

Waterloo’s top doctor says that the decline in coronavirus detection in wastewater data appears to have hit a wall.

“The wastewater data up to February the fifth indicates that the decline in the COVID-19 wastewater signal in the last few weeks has slowed or plateaued at all sites,” medical officer of health Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang told reporters on Friday morning.

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“The wastewater signals still remains high relative to previous waves and continues to be dominated by the Omicron variant.”

With the arrival of the Omicron variant, testing availability decreased, causing the testing numbers to be a less accurate gage for the presence of the virus in the community than wastewater data.

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On Thursdays, the region updates its dashboard to show the wastewater data, and as Wang said, the numbers appear to have flattened out across all three cities.

That said, Friday’s dashboard update also offers a similar point as for the first time in several weeks, the rolling seven-day average number of new daily cases actually rose ever so slightly to 93.9.

Wang also noted that the original Omicron subvariant is still the dominant variant of COVID-19 in the area.

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“The Omicron subvariant B.A.1, which is the original one, is the primary subvariant detected,” she noted.

“But there has also been a moderate presence of the B.A. 2 sublineage In Waterloo Region, as previously noted as well.”

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