Active cases spike as Waterloo Region logs 57 new COVID-19 infections

Health officials in Waterloo Region added 57 new COVID-19 cases Friday, as active cases spiked following days of steady decline.

The new cases bring the region's cumulative caseload to 16,127. Of those, 15,513 are considered resolved. But active cases climbed by 36 in the past 24 hours, with 348 cases currently active in the region.

Total hospitalizations also remained unchanged at 18, but the number of people receiving care in area intensive care units spiked from nine yesterday to 17 today.

The region's top public health doctor, Dr. Hsui-Li Wang, said the rise in cases could be attributed to the Victoria Day long weekend.

"We will be reporting an increase in the daily number of cases, compared to the recent trend. This may be due to the May long weekend. But we will need to continue to monitor," she said at the region's weekly pandemic update.

Waterloo Region has logged no new deaths for more than two weeks, with 256 people having died of the disease since the pandemic began.

There are five active outbreaks in the region.

Another 18 cases have been confirmed as variants of concern, bringing the total number of variant cases to 3,303.

The variant breakdown is as follows:

  • 2,919 are the B.1.1.7 variant first identified in the United Kingdom, now known as the Alpha variant
  • Six are the B.1.315 variant originally detected in South Africa, now referred to as the Beta variant
  • 29 are the P.1. variant initially discovered in Brazil, now called the Gamma variant
  • 12 are the B.1.617 variant first found in India, now dubbed the Delta variant

Health officials completed 2,780 more COVID-19 tests since Tuesday, having now processed 497,820 tests since the pandemic began.

The health unit's dashboard shows a 4.9 per cent positivity, down slightly from Tuesday's five per cent positivity rate.

The reproductive rate of the virus climbed slightly since Tuesday, up from 0.8 to 0.9

Meanwhile, health partners in Waterloo Region administered a record 8,070 vaccine doses Thursday, the highest single day total since the vaccine rollout launched.

A total of 343,874 jabs have been delivered in the region, with more than 66 per cent of adults having now received one dose and more than 5.15 per cent fully vaccinated.

Across Ontario, 914 new cases were logged, the fifth straight day with cases below 1,000.

The province's rolling seven-day average now stands at 889, a slight decline from 940 on Thursday.

Health officials reported 19 more deaths due to COVID-19 over the last 24-hour period, which brings the total number of fatalities to 8,820.

With files from CTV Toronto.