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Region sees spike in COVID-19 cases, boost in amount of testing

Waterloo Region has seen in spike in the number of cases of COVID-19, though that may be related to an increase in testing.

As of Monday morning, Public Health reported 503 confirmed cases in the region, including a large outbreak at the Forest Heights Revera long-term care home in Kitchener, where there were 141 positive cases – 101 residents and 40 staff members. There have been 11 fatalities there, part of a total of 27 coronavirus-related deaths.

In regard to overall trends, there are currently 14 long term care homes or retirement homes being monitored for the virus. Three long-term care homes have had their outbreaks declared over, said acting medical officers of health Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang after expressing her condolences to the families of the deceased in this morning’s video press conference.

Since Friday’s update the current total of positive cases has grown to 503 confirmed cases from 488.

“We expect to continue to see significant increases in the number of confirmed cases in the coming days as a result of expanded testing,” said Wang.

Twenty-five of those infected are currently in hospital. Some 273 people are self-isolating at home, while another 169 cases have been resolved (34 per cent), while that status of nine more cases is still pending.

Some 65 per cent of cases in the region involve women, with 33 per cent of those afflicted being men. People over the age of 80 make up 22 per cent of the cases, followed by those in their 50s at 19 per cent. The next highest group is those in their 40s (14 per cent), followed by those in their 20s (12 per cent), 60s (12 per cent), 30s (10 per cent) and 70s (nine per cent). Those under the age of 20 make up one per cent of cases.

At Monday’s brief, chief administrative officer Mike Murray provided updates on the emergency childcare benefit, as well as public transit.

Since its inception, there have been 210 applicants for the emergency childcare benefit for a total of 310 children. The province has loosened restrictions on who is eligible for the benefit. “We got new directives from the province. … On Friday night, the province expanded the list of eligible workers whose families whose children are eligible for emergency childcare. So they expanded that list to include employees such as those who are working in shelters, developmental services, residential services, and, and others. Families of people working in those areas as well as anybody who’s In an essential or critical service, their families are eligible for emergency childcare,” explained Murray.

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