Region of Waterloo Public Health reports first case of U.K. COVID-19 variant

The first case of the U.K. COVID-19 variant has been detected in Waterloo Region. According to a news release from Region of Waterloo Public Health on Friday, the variant was identified in a woman in her 30s.

The news release said that the woman's illness has been resolved, but public health officials are completing a more detailed investigation into the case and her contacts.

On Saturday, the region sent out another news release stating the woman in question had close contact with someone who travelled internationally and that her case was connected to the outbreak at Columbia Forest Long Term Care Home in Waterloo.

Officials say the outbreak, which was declared on New Year's Eve, is well controlled and that their investigation did not identify an increased risk to the community or the long term care home.

Active COVID-19 case count drops for over a week in Waterloo Region

While the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases continued to increase in Waterloo Region for the past week, the number of resolved cases increase more. Since Jan. 21 when the active case total was at 819, the number has decreased with every daily report.

As of Jan. 31, there are 565 active cases in Waterloo Region.

Earlier in the week, a CTV Kitchener analysis found positive indicators to the COVID-19 numbers for the region since the provincial stay-at-home order was issued. The top doctor in the area stated the same while adding that the affects are still being felt and public health measures still need to be obeyed.

By the numbers:

  • Waterloo Region: 9,432 confirmed cases, 203 deaths, 8,658 resolved
  • Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph: 4,152 cases, 73 deaths, 3,669 resolved
  • Brant County: 1,353 cases, 8 deaths, 1,292 resolved
  • Haldimand-Norfolk: 1,321 cases, 43 deaths, 1,222 resolved
  • Huron County: 1,208 cases, 39 deaths, 1,095 resolved

Kitchener music store out thousands in case of credit card fraud

A Kitchener music store says it lost thousands of dollars in a case of credit card fraud. The thieves walked away with six electric guitars.

Marcus Wanka with Sherwood Music said the transaction seemed legitimate. Two different people called over the span of a few days, looking to purchase some high-end guitars.

Wanka said they took the credit card information over the phone, including the CVV, a postal code and a drivers licence, and that there were no issues.

He adds that they found out the credit cards were stolen, they'd provided fake drivers licences, and the store is now responsible for paying the money owed to the credit card companies.

Motel fire near Stratford leaves 1 seriously hurt

A fire at a motel just east of Stratford has left one person seriously hurt. Fire crews reported that they were responding to the fire just before 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, calling it a "working structure fire" on Forest Road in Perth East.

Many in the community say the loss of the Forest Motel is tough for those in the area.

"It's devastating," said Bob Purewal. "It was so nice. The family who owns it, they're the nicest family."

Defiant church in Woolwich Township switches to drive by service following in-person service fallout

Afterin-person services at Trinity Bible Chapel saw hundreds come inside and repercussions follow, the church has switched to services in the parking lot.

Despite a court order being issued by the Attorney General, in-person services went ahead as scheduled at the church in Woolwich Township last Sunday. Only bylaw officers were on scene to monitor the situation, while regional police said it was a complex issue the following day.

On Tuesday, the lawyer for the church said they had been served with a motion for a contempt order. On Wednesday, the Region of Waterloo said six elders, including the pastor, at Trinity Bible Chapel had been charged.

On Sunday, a drive-in service went ahead at the church. Both bylaw and regional police could be seen observing the scene.