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Number of COVID-19 cases continues to fall in Waterloo Region; vaccine rates up

The downward trend of COVID-19 cases in Waterloo Region continues, with 107 active instances at midweek, down from 119 a week earlier. Officials were monitoring outbreaks in just four locations, and only six people were hospitalized with the disease.

“Our case rates have been on a stable and slowly decreasing trend in the last few weeks. We are seeing similar trends in our hospitalizations and outbreaks,” said medical officer of health Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang at the weekly pandemic briefing October 15.

“Although this is encouraging news, we need to keep our foot on the gas pedal. Approximately 77,000  eligible residents are not yet fully immunized; approximately 82,000 children under the age of 12 are not yet eligible for the vaccine. If you are not yet vaccinated it is not too late to get the vaccine to protect you, those you love and those who cannot receive a vaccine,” she added.

Some 90.4 per cent of residents over the age of 12 have had at least one dose of vaccine, with 86.4 per cent fully immunized. Public health officials are pushing for at least 90 per cent of residents to receive both jabs, and to continue to observe precautions.

“As cooler weather drives more of our activities indoors, please remember to gather with the fewest people possible. Do not exceed the gathering limit of 25 people, do not attend an event if you have any symptoms, even mild ones. Make sure the indoors is well ventilated and if people are unvaccinated, partially vaccinated or their vaccination status is unknown, you should wear a face covering and physically distance,” said Wang.

“Regarding proof of vaccination – changes to the provincial proof of vaccination requirements for weddings and funerals went into effect on Wednesday, October 13. Proof of vaccination or an eligible exemption is required to attend a social gathering associated with a wedding service, rite or ceremony. Proof of vaccination or an eligible exemption is required to attend a social gathering associated with a funeral service, rite or ceremony.”

Anyone attending a wedding or funeral will need to show their vaccine certificate or provide a religious or medical reason for exemption.

“What we’ve seen so far is the large majority of residents have complied with the requirements. While there have been some incidences where patrons were unhappy with the requirements, what we’ve heard is that these are not that frequent and overall people are helping their fellow residents.”

Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 19,939 cases recorded in the region, of which 19,528 have been resolved – 97.9 per cent. A total of 302 people have succumbed to the disease.

The numbers are trending  slightly upward in Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph, with the midweek total at 71 active cases, up from 62 a week earlier. Of a total of 9,277 cases since the pandemic began, 9,079 (97.9) have been resolved. There have been 127 fatalities associated with the virus.

Public health there reports 87.7 per cent of eligible residents has received at least one dose of vaccine, with 84.4 per cent fully inoculated.

The province continues to see growth in the total number of cases, with the tally now at 595,600, up about 3,000 in the past week.

There have been 9,819 deaths attributed to the virus – up 27 over the week before – representing a mortality rate of 1.6 per cent. The ministry reports 582,072 cases (97.7 per cent) have been resolved.

The latest numbers from Health Canada show 31,000 active cases nationwide, down about 6,500 from a week earlier. The cumulative total of confirmed cases now stands at 1,687,617, with 28,603 related deaths, a mortality rate of 1.8 per cent. Nationally, 87.2 per cent of eligible Canadians have received at least one dose of vaccine, with 81.9 per cent fully vaccinated.

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