SASKATOON -- Researchers at the University of Saskatchewan say their latest data collected from wastewater shows an 18 per cent decrease of COVID-19 viral load in samples.

“These results indicate that viral RNA load in the wastewater is stabilizing, which suggests that a further rapid increase of new cases in Saskatoon is not expected,” reads a statement on their website, which updates their numbers every Monday.

The data also reveals that the B.1.1.7 (U.K.) variant of concern makes up 79 per cent of the viral load in wastewater, a 54 per cent increase form the previous week’s data, making it the dominant strain in Saskatoon wastewater viral signal.

The research shows that the P1 (Brazil) and B.1.3531 (South African) COVID-19 variants have not been detected in Saskatoon’s wastewater.

The province reported 243 new cases of COVID-19 in Saskatchewan on Monday, including 169 new variants of concern cases.