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Number of coronavirus cases stabilizes in Waterloo Region

The spread of the novel coronavirus continues to slow in the region, with the number of cases now at 1,082, a slight increase from the 1,066 reported three days earlier by Region of Waterloo Public Health.

Moreover, there were no new fatalities over the weekend. The count was increased by one to 113, but that was a late addition of a death earlier in the month.

“Overall, we continue to see signs of stabilization in our number of new cases,” said acting medical officer of health Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang at Monday’s video briefing, noting the additional fatality occurred at a long-term care home.

“A person associated with the Forest Heights outbreak that had been in the hospital had passed away in mid-May but had not yet been counted in our dashboard.”

Of the 113 deaths, 93 are associated with long-term care and retirement home outbreaks. Currently, the region has 11 such facilities in outbreak conditions, while 25 facilities have had their outbreaks declared over.

Despite the summery weather, officials reported few issues with non-compliance to COVID-19 rules.

“The weekend was relatively calm,” said Mike Murray, the region’s chief administrative officer.

Wang added she was grateful that community members were following safety protocols, with officials pointing to the issues that arose at Trinity Bellwoods Park in Toronto

Murray said the region is prepared should a similar event be staged here.

Regional Chair Karen Redman also weighed on the Trinity Bellwoods park situation, saying, “this puts us all in jeopardy.”

Redman said no matter how many enforcement officers there may be, it will never be enough to charge everyone, adding education and compliance are the critical factors rather than relying on police and bylaw enforcement.

“Everything we do as a community will continue to determine how the rates of infection progress in the weeks ahead,” said Wang.

Officials remain vigilant for any spike in the number of cases as the economy reopens and more people are out of their homes, perhaps travelling to areas such as the Greater Toronto Area.

Currently, the region has conducted 15,636 tests to priority groups and more recently opened to people that display symptoms of the virus. However, with a directive from Ontario Premier Doug Ford, anyone, even those not displaying symptoms, can now walk into an assessment centre without an appointment. Wang was unwilling to comment on how that policy will affect the number of cases and the gradual reopening of more businesses.

Figures released Monday by Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health show 368 confirmed cases of COVID-19, an increase of three from the previous day. There have been 34 fatalities, unchanged since Wednesday. Some 221 cases have been resolved, with eight patients in hospital, three in intensive care.

The Ministry of Health reports 25,904 cases of the novel coronavirus in Ontario, an increase of 1.6 per cent over the previous day. There have been 2,102 deaths attributed to the virus, representing a mortality rate of 8.1 per cent. The ministry reports 19,698 cases (76 per cent) have been resolved.

The latest numbers from Health Canada show 85,092 confirmed cases of COVID-19 nationwide, with 6,453 related deaths, a mortality rate of 7.6 per cent.

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