Central Kitchener neighbourhoods identified by province as COVID-19 hot spot

The provincial government has identified an area in central Kitchener as a COVID-19 hot spot.

The hot spot includes all neighbourhoods with the postal code prefix N2C.

"We will be immediately targeting hot spot postal codes to help get this third wave under control," Premier Doug Ford said Tuesday.

The targeted postal code approach comes with a younger age bracket for COVID-19 vaccines. Adults 50 or over in the identified communities are now eligible for the vaccine.

The postal code includes people in Kingsdale, Vanier and Country Hills East.

"I think it's a very good idea and they are moving very quickly, too," one resident said.

"I think it's a good thing," another resident told CTV Kitchener. "I think more people getting vaccinated is better."

The Victoria Hills neighbourhood in Kitchener wasn't listed as a high-priority neighbourhood by the province. However, on Wednesday, the region announced people over the age of 50 living in Vanier/Rockway, Country Hills, Alpine/Laurentian, Victoria Hills/Cherry Hills, and Shades Mills would be able to pre-register for the vaccine starting on Thursday.

Dr. Kelly Grindrod, a vaccine expert from the University of Waterloo, said people in the area shouldn't worry about being left out.

"People who live in neighbourhoods where they find themselves to be at higher risk can absolutely go to other neighbourhoods to get vaccinated," she said.

An area in Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph was also identified as a provincial hot spot. That postal code prefix is N1K.