Le Lézard
Classified in: Health, Covid-19 virus
Subjects: NPT, PSF, NTA, CFG, DEI

Government of Canada continues to monitor and invest in COVID-19 wastewater monitoring

OTTAWA, ON, May 30, 2023 /CNW/ - On May 5, 2023, the World Health Organization determined the current COVID-19 situation no longer constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC), however the Government of Canada recognizes that the SARS-CoV-2 virus is still circulating across Canada and worldwide.

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) continues to use innovative science and research to inform the sustainable approach to the ongoing management of COVID-19 in Canada by investing in wastewater monitoring across the nation.

Today, the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Health, announced that Canadian Water Network (CWN) is receiving funding from PHAC's National Wastewater Surveillance Program to develop a proof-of-concept pilot project with the goal of advancing wastewater monitoring in Canada. Through this pilot project, CWN will work directly with public health practitioners in British Columbia, Manitoba, and Ontario, and in Indigenous communities to develop training and guidance materials. By translating the most up-to-date science and research and consolidating expertise, this investment will help public health authorities, communities, government agencies, and researchers to successfully interpret and communicate COVID-19 wastewater monitoring data. Through this, we will be better equipped to monitor and mitigate health and societal impacts of the virus.

Testing a community's sewage (wastewater) can help determine if COVID-19 is increasing or decreasing in a community and provides information on the variants circulating within a community. People can also use wastewater trend data to inform their decisions about personal protective measures when going out into their community.

Indigenous Services Canada is also supporting this project by providing public health expertise and additional funding to improve the interpretation and communication of COVID-19 wastewater monitoring data for public health officials.

CWN is a non-profit organization and a leader in the rapidly evolving field of wastewater monitoring across Canada. The organization helps decision makers in the water sector address complex challenges, and strives to advance, accelerate, and improve water management decisions in Canada.

The National Collaborating Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCCID) is serving as a strategic partner in delivering this project with CWN. NCCID is dedicated to helping public health practitioners find, understand, and use infectious disease research and evidence.


"COVID-19 continues to circulate in Canada and around the world and investing in wastewater technology is helping us better monitor its impacts. The work of CWN will support wastewater monitoring through important training and guidance materials and will equip even more communities and authorities to communicate wastewater data to help keep Canadians healthy and safe."   

The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
Minister of Health

"Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Canada, together with public health authorities, communities, government agencies, academics and researchers have been working hard to build a strong wastewater surveillance network. This funding will strengthen our communities by providing them with further resources to interpret wastewater monitoring data and effectively communicate this information to people in Canada."

The Honourable Bardish Chagger
Member of Parliament for Waterloo

"The use of wastewater monitoring during the COVID-19 pandemic represented a breakthrough in popularizing an effective public health tool to track and communicate vital infectious disease information to Canadians. With support from Public Health Agency of Canada, Canadian Water Network and the National Collaborating Centre for Infectious Diseases are helping public health practitioners to further their expertise at applying this cost-effective technique and expand its use to other infectious diseases."

Nicola Crawhall
Chief Executive Officer
Canadian Water Network (CWN)

"NCCID is very excited to be part of this new partnership with the Canadian Water Network. We know that public health personnel are eager to learn more about wastewater-based surveillance. This strategic partnership and our new joint program will provide time and space for information sharing and learning that can be applied to facilities, municipalities and larger health authorities."

Dr. Yoav Keynan
Scientific Director
National Collaborating Centre for Infectious Diseases

Quick Facts

SOURCE Public Health Agency of Canada

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