Monitoring the COVID-19 virus in wastewater through the Canadian Wastewater Survey: preliminary data release (2021-04-01 to 2022-01-31)

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Release date: February 18, 2022

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The Centre for Population Health Data (Statistics Canada) is collaborating with the National Microbiology Laboratory (Public Health Agency of Canada) on a wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) program to measure levels of SARS-CoV-2 in the wastewater of five Canadian municipalities, respondents of the Canadian Wastewater Survey. As symptomatic and asymptomatic COVID-19 patients shed SARS-CoV-2 in their feces and urine, WBE programs have been set up in Canada and abroad to help monitor the progression of the pandemic. Note Note

Biweekly collection of wastewater took place at 15 treatment plants in Halifax, Montreal, Toronto, Edmonton and Vancouver, serving close to 8.7 million Canadians. The solid fraction of the samples was analyzed at the National Microbiology Laboratory (Winnipeg) by RT-qPCR to produce estimates of the concentration of the virus in the sewersheds.

Samples and data from this collaboration have supported the COVID-19 pandemic’s surveillance efforts and the expansion of epidemiological knowledge. Note Note Note NoteAdditional information about the project can be found at the National Collaborative Center for Infectious Diseases.

Data in the PHES-ODM format

The data is released in the Public Health Environmental Surveillance Open Data Model. The dataset consists of 9 tables plus a lookup table. There are three metadata tables describing the dataset.

  • Tables.csv: Table names and their description.
  • Variables.csv: Variable names and their description.
  • Lookup_Variables.csv: Description of values for all categorical variables
Wastewater data: levels of SARS-CoV-2 (April 1 2021 to January 31, 2022).

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