The City of Hamilton has now made local wastewater data public online as a means of tracking the status of COVID-19 in the city.
This comes after months of the city resisting making its wastewater data available to the general public, saying that such data is a lagging indicator for tracking COVID-19’s community prevalence.
Hamilton's wastewater data now public at https://t.co/HopiSsPYWj
Graph by @NadaHegazy0 of wastewater signal (blue) moved forward in time by 14 days (lead time identified by correlation) vs hospitalization (red). Pearson's R of 0.6! No dates (sorry), July 2020 to February 2022. pic.twitter.com/nfzFBweVIE
— Rob Delatolla (@RobDelatolla) March 14, 2022
However, with the Ontario government eliminating measures like mass PCR testing availability, COVID-19 case numbers have been wildly unreliable for months now, making COVID-19’s true community prevalence largely a mystery.
A level of transparency regarding COVID-19’s community prevalence is going to be very important in Hamilton going forward, giving the public a clearer indication of how high, or low, transmission is in the city at a given time and allowing locals to make more informed risk assessments.
As of Friday, March 11th at 10 am, the city began publishing the wastewater data – which has been used in other communities to reliably track COVID-19’s community prevalence – on the city website’s Status of Cases page, showing data connected to COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations through their wastewater viral signal.
See more on the city website.