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Number of active COVID-19 cases continues to fall in the region

The few new cases of COVID-19 at times offset by the number of those recovered from the virus, there were just 25 active cases in Waterloo Region at midweek.

As well, just one long-term care facility has an active case. There have been no new fatalities in the past week, the tally remaining at 119 deaths since the pandemic first reached the region.

Overall, there have been1,406 positive cases since early March. Of those, 1,262 – 90 per cent – have since been resolved.

New numbers on the Public Health department’s dashboard show 23 per cent of those testing positive have been health-care workers, with the remaining 77 per cent among the general populace. As has been the case throughout, the virus continues to have a greater impact on women than men: 58 per cent of cases in the region have been among women, while men account for 42 per cent. That’s a larger spilt than the provincial average of 52.7 per cent female, 46.6 per cent male.

In a brief Tuesday, associate medical officer of health Dr. Ryan Van Meer noted there’s been an uptick in the number of cases where transmission was attributed to travel. The numbers still trail outbreaks in care facilities, community spread and close contact with an infected person, but travel now accounts for 18 per cent of total cases.

“The most common country travelled to was the U.S. with seven cases, followed by five cases returning from India and one each from United Kingdom, Nicaragua and Pakistan,” said Van Meer.

He warned that the rise in cases being brought back from the United States is “an important remainder that travelling outside of Canada continues to pose a risk of exposure to COVID-19 and the government of Canada continues to advise against non-essential travel outside of Canada.”

Public Health also notes that there’s a continuing shift in demographics. Younger people are testing positive more often than was the case earlier in the pandemic. Those between the ages of 20 and 29, for instance, now account for about 17 per cent of cases, the same as those 80-plus.

While the overall numbers are looking better, it’s important to maintain efforts to slow the spread, Van Meer stressed.

“While we have continued to see encouraging trends in the community, the experience of other jurisdictions indicates we must remain vigilant in our day-to-day practices to prevent a spike of cases. Again, we’re all familiar with these now. This includes wearing a mask in public indoor spaces, washing hands frequently, staying home and sick and maintain physical distance with people who are not in our social bubbles.”

The Ministry of Health reported 40,194 cases of the novel coronavirus in Ontario on Wednesday. There have been 2,786 deaths attributed to the virus, representing a mortality rate of 6.9 per cent. The ministry reports 36,456 cases (90.7 per cent) have been resolved.

The latest numbers from Health Canada show 120,421 confirmed cases of COVID-19 nationwide, with 8,991 related deaths, a mortality rate of 7.5 per cent.

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