KITCHENER -- Waterloo Region's top doctor says the local COVID-19 situation has started to stabilize, but said things remain "precarious."

Speaking at a Board of Health meeting on Wednesday evening, Medical Officer of Health Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang said hospitalizations, ICU admissions and deaths continue to rise locally.

She told regional councillors the economy shouldn't open too quickly. Case counts have started to stabilize, but she said that's just the first sign of stabilization. Dr. Wang expects to see more outbreaks, hospitalizations and deaths in the coming weeks.

According to Dr. Wang, the stay-at-home order is still "very warranted," adding transmission needs to slow and ICUs need to empty before reopening.

"Settings that are still open have also seen an increase in the number of cases," Dr. Wang said. "That is a reflection of higher rates of COVID in our community overall."

The weekly incidence rate in the region sits at 96 cases per 100,000 people. In Ontario, that rate is 160 cases per 100,000 people.

Dr. Wang noted variants of concern continue to increase in the region and it remains the predominant strain.

To date, more than 14,000 people have tested positive for COVID-19.