Region of Waterloo Public Health officials reported 42 new cases of COVID-19, the highest single-day increase the region has seen since May.

The region's online COVID-19 dashboard shows that it's the highest number of non-outbreak-related cases ever reported in a single day.

During a media briefing on Friday morning before the daily update at 1:30 p.m., Medical Officer Health Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang had said that she expected an increase in the 40s.

The update brings the region's total number of cases to 2,295, up from the 2,253 cases that public health officials reported the day before.

"I get concerned whenever I see an increase," Dr. Wang said. "We will need to double down our efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19."

The dashboard also showed that another 21 cases had been marked resolved, bringing that total to 2,005. When including the 121 deaths from COVID-19, there are 169 active cases remaining.

Another two outbreaks were also added to the region's online dashboard: the outbreak at Avenue Road Public School, which was reported on Thursday after the daily update, and an outbreak at Forest Heights Revera long-term care home.

It's the second outbreak at Forest Heights Revera, where another that began in April saw 178 residents and 73 staff members contract the disease. By the time that outbreak was declared over at the end of June, 51 people had died.

WEEKLY CASE NUMBERS ON THE RISE

During Friday's briefing, Dr. Wang said that, in October, Waterloo Region was seeing between 15 and 20 cases per 100,000 people per week. That number is now between 20 and 25 per 100,000 per week.

It's still a far lower infection rate than Ontario as a whole, which is seeing about 48 per 100,000 per week, but Dr. Wang said that the increase in the region shows how important it is to prevent cases when possible.

"We can't always prevent them, even when people are doing their best, but we must try to do our best to keep these cases from accelerating," she said.

Dr. Wang said the biggest concern is spread between close contacts.

"The genesis is events or gatherings where people are not maintaining precautions that they should," she said. "It's then spread to household and family and friends."

She also shared an infographic that demonstrated how quickly a single COVID-19 case can become several.

It showed how one person who was showing symptoms went to a 21-person gathering outside of the region. Within a week, 15 others tested positive, and 33 high-risk contacts were reported.

Our actions matter. An individual with symptoms attended a large social gathering. Within a week, in Waterloo Region, 15 more confirmed cases and 33 high-risk contacts were identified. With more cases and contacts identified in other communities. (1/9) pic.twitter.com/MhRSGA2Tr1

— Region of Waterloo Public Health (@ROWPublicHealth) November 6, 2020