KITCHENER -- Region of Waterloo Public Health is reporting five more deaths related to COVID-19, along with 78 more cases of the disease.

To date, the region has reported 9,172 cases of COVID-19. The number of active cases dropped again Wednesday to 647. A total of 8,322 cases are now considered resolved, and 197 people have died from the disease.

In a statement to CTV News Kitchener, Medical Officer of Health Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang said the five deaths reported on Wednesday were a man in his 50s, two men in their 80s, a woman in her 90s and a woman in her 100s.

"I wish to express my deep sympathy to the family and loved ones of each individual," Dr. Wang's statement said in part. "While we have seen some improvement in our current trends, the increase in deaths is not unexpected. Hospitalizations, people requiring ICU care and sadly, deaths, are lagging indicators that we see increase in the weeks following high case rates."

There are 47 people in regional hospitals receiving treatment for COVID-19, including 11 people who are in the ICU.

The number of active outbreaks in the region dropped by one on Wednesday to 38.

The province reported 1,670 new cases on Wednesday, the lowest increase since Nov. 26. Testing numbers increased again, with 55,191 tests performed in the past 24 hours. The province's positivity rate now sits at four per cent.

The seven-day average for new cases in Ontario continues to trend downwards. It's now at 2,205, down from 2,849 last week and 3,479 two weeks ago.