KITCHENER -- Region of Waterloo Public Health officials have declared an outbreak at a child-care setting in Wellesley after a staff member tested positive for COVID-19.

Inspiring Minds Early Learning Centre is the third child-care agency in Waterloo Region to have an outbreak declared. The others are FunCare Learning Centre in Elmira, which has closed temporarily until staff can clear self-isolation, and YWCA St. Paul Childcare Centre, where one case was identified.

Public health officials define an outbreak at a child-care setting as "a single symptomatic case in staff or children."

The news comes as the region reported 17 new cases of the disease on Wednesday, bringing the total number of local cases to 1,653.

That total includes 1,383 resolved cases and 120 deaths, leaving 150 active cases in the region. That's a notable jump from the start of the month: on Sept. 1, there were just 42 active cases here.

There are still seven other ongoing outbreaks in the region. They are:

  • Village at Winston Park LTC, one case in staff
  • Lanark Heights LTC, three cases in staff
  • Village at University Gates, one case in staff
  • Two congregate settings, two cases in staff
  • One sports and fitness outbreak, three cases
  • One food and beverage service, two cases

The region has done a total of 85,365 tests since the pandemic began. Demand is picking up, as evidenced by the long waits being reported at the region's five testing centres.

Across the province, officials reported a significant one-day drop in new COVID-19 cases.

Ontario reported 335 cases on Wednesday, down from the 478 reported the day before. Tuesday's total was the highest single-day increase since May 2, when 511 cases were reported.

Health Minister Christine Elliott took to Twitter to say that 102 of the new cases were reported in Toronto, with 79 in Peel Region and another 65 in Ottawa.