119 more COVID-19 cases added to Waterloo Region's total
KITCHENER -- There were 119 more COVID-19 cases reported in Waterloo Region on Friday, the second day in a row of more than 100 new cases in the region.
To date, there have been 8,821 cases in the Region of Waterloo. Officials reported another death Friday, bringing that total to 185. The number of active cases also rose by nine Friday, for a total of 866.
Officials said 7,768 cases are considered resolved.
There are currently 39 people receiving hospital care for the disease, including 13 in the ICU.
There were five new outbreaks added to the region's COVID-19 dashboard Friday, including three at long-term care or retirement facilities and two in general office settings.
The region's testing partners have performed 311,863 tests to date. The region's seven-day average positivity rate sits at 5.9 per cent, and the reproductive rate is 0.8.
'CASES HEAD IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION'
Speaking at the region's COVID-19 update on Friday, Medical Officer of Health Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang said residents need to keep following public health measures to continue bringing case counts down.
"[We're] starting to see cases head in the right direction, but we're still feeling the effect of the second wave," Dr. Wang said.
She said the region's incidence rate is currently at 127 cases per 100,000 people. She added that hospitalizations, patients in the ICU and deaths will likely increase as lag measures.
Ontario's stay-at-home order will remain in place until at least Feb. 11, but that could be extended by the provincial government.
Dr. Wang added that drive-in religious ceremonies are allowed under the order, as long as people stay in their vehicles except for using the washroom and vehicles stay two metres apart.
She encouraged people to connect virtually during the shutdown and stay as active as possible.
SCHOOLS REMAIN CLOSED
Students will continue distance learning at both of Waterloo Region's school boards. Dr. Wang said the incidence rate would need to drop down to 40 cases per 100,000 per week in order to return to the classroom.
"Our case rates have started to go down, so that's a good sign," Dr. Wang said. "They're still high and, for the time being, we need to focus on getting them down as soon as we can, really just adhering to the provincial requirements for the shutdown and our own individual actions."
Dr. Wang said the province is assessing the school situation week-by-week.
SEVEN-DAY AVERAGE DROPS IN PROVINCE
Ontario reported fewer than 2,700 new cases on Friday. There were 2,662 cases added to the provincial total, along with 87 more deaths. There were more than 71,000 tests performed in the past 24 hours and the positivity rate dropped to 3.3 per cent, the lowest it's been since Dec. 12.
The seven-day average for new infections dropped to 2,702. One week ago, that average was at 3,273.