The future of wastewater COVID-19 tracking in Saskatchewan in question |

For the past two years, wastewater numbers have given people a snapshot of viral levels in the largest centers in the provinces.

But come September, things are about to change.

The head of waste search team Retiring due to expiring work permit and others returning to their home country.

“I’m actively trying to change them,” said John Gissy, who led the University of Saskatchewan wastewater research team. “The problem we are facing is that it is taking maybe eight months to get the approval for the work permit.”

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Gissy said some key people from around the world have been identified as potential candidates for the new wastewater research team. However, it is still a game to see if he will be allowed to work at the university.

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He said that this type of research is unique and very few people in the world are able to do this kind of work so it has been challenging.

“Hopefully one of my colleagues will take over in the future after I’m not here,” Gissi said.

GC and his team originally started working with the wastewater plant in relation to other issues when the pandemic hit Saskatchewan two years ago.

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Today they are now funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada.

He said that this research is now more important than ever because the province is no longer clinically monitoring the virus.

“He has been one of the leaders in Canada,” said Nazeem Muhajrin, a Saskatchewan epidemiologist.

“They quickly turned to wastewater to understand the city level, the population level, the spread of COVID-19. So, losing the person who was instrumental in doing this is a great loss.”

Gissy’s official last day is in September, but he said he’s not going away completely, just holding back for something he’s been leading during the pandemic.

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