Waterloo Region adds 63 new COVID-19 infections, active cases spike as area dubbed Delta variant hotspot

Health officials in Waterloo Region added 63 new COVID-19 infections Thursday as the region becomes designated a Delta variant hotspot by the province.

With the new batch of confirmed cases, there are now 383 active cases in the region. Waterloo Region has logged 16,401 COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began and 258 deaths.

Another 15,751 cases are considered resolved.

Thursday marks yet another day of increasing case counts in Waterloo Region and comes as Ontario designates both Waterloo and Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph as Delta variant hotspots. The designation means the area will see an acceleration of second dose vaccinations.

Waterloo Region's COVID-19 cases reported on Thursday were the third highest among health units in the province, behind only Toronto and Peel.

There are 34 people hospitalized in Waterloo Region area hospitals, with 23 of those receiving care in intensive care units.

Active outbreaks remain unchanged at five.

Thirteen cases were confirmed as variants of concern Thursday, bringing the total number of variant cases to 3,403.

The region's variant breakdown is as follows:

  • 3,012 are the B.1.1.7 variant first identified in the United Kingdom, now known as the Alpha variant
  • Seven are the B.1.315 variant originally detected in South Africa, now referred to as the Beta variant
  • 60 are the P.1. variant initially discovered in Brazil, now called the Gamma variant
  • 14 are the B.1.617 variant first found in India, now dubbed the Delta variant

Meanwhile, health partners in the region administered another 7,079 vaccine doses Wednesday. Some 383,707 jabs have been given out as part of the vaccine rollout in Waterloo Region.

More than 70.2 per cent of adults have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 7.81 per cent of people 18+ are fully vaccinated.

Province-wide, a slight uptake in COVID-19 cases was recorded after multiple days of cases below 500.

Health officials logged 590 cases Thursday, as well as 11 deaths.

Ontario is set to enter Step 1 of its reopening plan on Friday.

With files from CTV Toronto.