KITCHENER -- The number of COVID-19 cases in Waterloo Region identified as the P.1 variant, which was first detected in Brazil and is now known as the Gamma variant, has gone up by 21, as health officials report 44 new cases on Saturday.

The online dashboard update also shows 50 more cases now considered resolved, while the active case count has dropped by six after a sharp increase on Friday.

Along with the Gamma variant increase, 32 more cases have been identified as the B.1.1.7 variant, which was first detected in the U.K. and is now known as the Alpha variant.

The number of cases identified as variants of concern has gone up by 36.

There have been no related deaths reported in the past 24 hours. The last COVID-19 death in the region was on May 18.

The number of hospitalizations in the area has increased by one as the total of those being treated in the ICU has stayed the same.

There have been no new facility outbreaks in the region.

This brings the Waterloo Region COVID-19 totals to 16,171 confirmed cases, 15,563 resolved, 256 deaths, 342 active cases, 19 hospitalized, 17 in the ICU, five active outbreaks, 3,339 variants of concern, 2,951 Alpha variants, 52 Gamma variants, six B.1.351’s (first detected in South Africa, now known as the Beta variant), and 12 B.1.617’s (first detected in India, now known as the Delta variant).

In Ontario, health officials reported 744 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, which is a drop from the 914 infections added on Friday. It’s also the first time in three days that Ontario has marked a decrease in new cases.

The province also added 24 additional COVID-19-related deaths in the previous day, bringing the total number of fatalities since the start of the pandemic to 8,844.