WATERLOO -- Health officials in Waterloo Region logged 67 new COVID-19 infections Wednesday, continuing a trend of spiking cases in the community.

Despite the double-digit jump in new infections on Wednesday, active cases in Waterloo Region declined slightly, down to 503.

There have been 17,206 lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the region since the pandemic began, including 16,425 resolved infections and 260 deaths.

HOSPITALIZATIONS AND OUTBREAKS DIP

The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Waterloo Region dropped by five in the past day, now sitting at 57 people. Of those, 21 are receiving treatment in intensive care units.

Active outbreaks also dipped slightly, down from 18 on Tuesday to 16 on Wednesday. The majority of the outbreaks are in workplace or facility settings.

VARIANTS OF CONCERN

Health officials have confirmed the more infectious Delta variant is now the dominant virus strain in Waterloo Region.

Another seven COVID-19 cases were confirmed as variants on Wednesday, bringing the total number of lab-confirmed variant of concern cases to 3,574. Six of the new confirmed variant cases were linked to Delta.

The region's variant breakdown is as follows:

  • 3,072 are the Alpha variant, first identified in the United Kingdom and originally known as B.1.1.7
  • 11 are Beta variant, originally detected in South Africa and previously referred as B.1.315
  • 61 are the Gamma variant, initially discovered in Brazil and labelled as P.1
  • 121 are the Delta variant, first found in India and previous called B.1.617
  • 309 cases have had a mutation detected, but have not yet had a variant strain confirmed

VACCINE UPDATE

Meanwhile, health partners across Waterloo Region administered another 8,337 COVID-19 vaccine doses on Tuesday.

That brings the total number of jabs in arms to 482,664.

More than 75.3 per cent of adults have now received at least one dose, with 21.73 per cent of residents 18 and older are now fully immunized.

As of Wednesday, anyone who received an mRNA vaccine as their first dose before May 30 is now eligible to book an earlier second dose appointment in Waterloo Region.

An updated booking system also launched Wednesday.

PROVINCE-WIDE SNAPSHOT

Across Ontario, health officials logged 255 new infections on Wednesday, a number not seen since Sept. 15.

The seven-day rolling average of daily COVID-19 cases now stands at about 316. A week ago that number was 443.

Another 11 deaths related to the disease were reported on Wednesday, bringing the death tally related to the virus to 9,093.

With files from CTV Toronto.