50 new COVID-19 cases in Waterloo Region; vaccine doses administered passes 600K

The Region of Waterloo logged 50 new COVID-19 infections Wednesday as health officials passed the 600,000 mark for vaccine doses administered.

Wednesday's latest cases bring the region's total caseload to 17,852, including 17,265 resolved infections and 272 deaths.

The number of active cases in the region dipped slightly in the past 24 hours, down by 11 to 307.

VACCINE ROLLOUT RAMPS UP

Health partners across Waterloo Region administered another 10,047 COVID-19 vaccine doses on Tuesday. That brings the total number of jabs in arms to 608,106.

More than 79.7 per cent of residents 18 and older have now received at least one dose, while 44.99 per cent of adults are fully vaccinated.

The vaccine rollout in the region is set to get another boost later this week as a Hockey Hub mass vaccination clinic opens its doors on Thursday.

Officials are launching the "Every Dose Counts" campaign this weekend, with the plan to administer more than 20,000 doses this weekend alone.

Waterloo Region's medical officer of health Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang said Tuesday night a move to Step 2 could be announced soon.

"We will continue to watch the trends and expect to share more on Step 2 later this week," she said at the board of health meeting.

HOSPITALIZATIONS, OUTBREAKS DIP

The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 dropped by four in the past 24 hours, down to 44. Of those, 25 people are receiving treatment in area intensive care units, up by one from the previous day.

There are now 20 active COVID-19 outbreaks in the region, down by one since yesterday.

VARIANT UPDATE

Health officials confirmed another three COVID-19 infections as variants of concern in Wednesday's report, bringing the total number of variant cases to 4,015.

Waterloo Region's variant breakdown is as follows:

  • 3,101 are the Alpha variant, first identified in the United Kingdom and originally known as B.1.1.7
  • 12 are the Beta variant, originally detected in South Africa and previously referred to as B.1.315
  • 61 are the Gamma variant, initially discovered in Brazil and labelled as P.1
  • 528 are the Delta variant, first found in India and previously called B.1.617
  • 313 cases have had a mutation detected, but have not yet had a variant strain confirmed

Speaking to media Wednesday, health minister Christine Elliott said the Delta variant remains not just a threat to Waterloo Region, but to the entire province.

"We still have to get our vaccination levels up to a higher level, because this variant is much more transmissible than the original COVID-19," she said.

Elliott said it's difficult to say when Ontario will move into Step 3 of its reopening plan.

PROVINCE-WIDE SNAPSHOT

Ontario logged 194 new COVID-19 infections in Wednesday's update and no new deaths for the first time since October.

The province's rolling seven-day average now stands at 201, down from 268 at this point last week.

Since the pandemic began, Ontario has tracked 546,411 lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases.

With files from CTV Toronto and CTV Kitchener's Nicole Lampa.