KITCHENER -- There were 61 new COVID-19 cases reported in Waterloo Region on Thursday, and officials have now confirmed that nearly 2,000 cases have screened positive for the B.1.1.7 variant first found in the U.K.

A total of 2,219 cases have screened positive for a variant of concern. On Thursday, officials confirmed that 1,933 of those cases are the B.1.1.7 variant, two are the B.1.351 and seven are the P.1.

There are now 14,567 lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Waterloo Region to date, including 13,794 recoveries and 253 deaths. There are 502 active cases in the region.

There are 49 people in hospital receiving treatment for COVID-19, including 39 in the ICU.

There are 14 active outbreaks in the region.

On Thursday, Ontario reported 3,424 new COVID-19 cases.

ICU admissions in the province also appear to be trending downwards.

Officials with the Ministry of Health said the positivity rate sits at 6.8 per cent.

To date, Ontario has reported 483,057 COVID-19 cases, including 440,467 recoveries and 8,213 deaths.

There are 34,377 active cases in Ontario right now.