Wastewater COVID levels rising in Fort McMurray

COVID-19 is still a serious threat in Alberta and AHS has seen more infections breakthrough in people with a full vaccine series due to the Omicron subvariant BA.2.

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw commented on Twitter that vaccines are still critically important in lowering the risk of severe outcomes.

Individuals in Alberta aged five and up that haven’t been fully vaccinated were three times more likely to be hospitalized due to COVID and eight times more likely to be admitted to the ICU according to Hinshaw.

During Wednesday’s COVID-19 weekly update Health Minister Jason Copping said the number of patients in the hospital is stable, but some hospitals in Edmonton and Calgary were operating at over 100 per cent capacity.

There are 1,126 people in hospital with COVID-19.

Of the new hospital admissions with COVID, 26.6 per cent were incidental.

Testing individuals for infection has been severely reduced in the province, so the Alberta Wastewater Surveillance Program has picked up the slack.

The SARS-CoV-2 virus has been demonstrated to be passed in the feces of a significant proportion of infected individuals, so wastewater testing can indicate infection trends in a community.

Wastewater surveillance has seen a rise throughout Fort McMurray reaching levels last seen in February.

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