KITCHENER -- Region of Waterloo Public Health has announced its 17th case of COVID-19 and another 15 presumptive cases.

Monday's update is the first time the region has reported presumptive cases on its website.

One of the region's latest two confirmed cases is in a female in her 20s who was tested at Cambridge Memorial Hospital. Hers is the first case listed on the region's website that was tested at that hospital.

She contracted the illness through close contact and is self-isolating at home.

The other confirmed case is in a male in his 40s. According to the Region of Waterloo's website, he was tested in a "residential setting."

He's now listed as self-isolating.

At a media conference on Monday, Acting Medical Officer Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang says that the presumptive cases are "very likely" to be laboratory-confirmed in the coming days.

The presumptive cases range in age from their 20s to 60s. Five of them are female and the other 10 are male.

Seven of them have been hospitalized.

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All three types of transmission are listed on the Region of Waterloo's website for the latest presumptive cases: travel, close contact and community.

Dr. Wang says that one of these presumptive cases was in a paramedic.

Changes to Region of Waterloo Public Health's reporting

Dr. Wang also outlined several ways that the region's updates would change. These changes include:

  • Updates on the region's website will only come out on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays;
  • Those updates will include new presumptive cases; and
  • A list of public places where some of the cases were known to have been will be posted on the region's website.

On Monday, the Region of Waterloo updated its website to include that list.

So far, there are two entries of places where a positive case of COVID-19 was present:

  • Casa Rugatino, March 11 between 5 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
  • Seaforth Agricultural Society, March 14 from 9 p.m. until 1 a.m. the next day

That list will continue to be updated as the region gets more information.

At the region's news conference on Monday, Regional Chair Karen Redman stressed the importance of physical distancing in order to help curb the spread of COVID-19.

Echoing that point, Dr. Wang says she recommends that personal service settings close, including barbershops, nail salons and gyms.

Region of Waterloo Public Health says that they will only provide updates to their website on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays due to the increasing numbers.

Ontario announced another 78 positive cases of the coronavirus on Monday, pushing the provincial total up over 500.