Waterloo Region seeing increase in number of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, outbreaks: Dr. Wang

Waterloo Region’s top doctor is hoping to keep community transmission low and increase vaccination rates as the area is seeing a steady uptick in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and outbreaks.

Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang, the Medical Officer of Health for the Region of Waterloo, gave the update to council Tuesday morning at a committee of the whole meeting.

She says infection rates continue to more severely impact those who are unvaccinated, as becoming infected is nine times more likely for someone without their shots, and becoming hospitalized is 24 times more likely.

Dr. Wang also addressed concerns around the spread of COVID-19 in schools now that kids are back in the classroom.

“The best way to prevent that type of significant spread is to​ slow the overall transmission in the community and to keep up those measures in the school environment to try to minimized spread,” she said.

SUSPECTED DELTA VARIANTS TO BE REPORTED

Health officials in Waterloo Region will now also include all suspected Delta variant cases in addition to confirmed cases on the COVID-19 dashboard. This means an additional 787 suspected Delta cases will be reported when Tuesday’s numbers are released in the afternoon.

Health officials clarify that this does not reflect a change in terms of the number of new cases, but just how they are reported and classified.

Dr. Wang says the Delta variant continues to be a major concern in the region and the change in reporting will more accurately represent the proportion of cases that are variants of concern.