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Second COVID-19 death confirmed in Waterloo Region: public health officials
KITCHENER -- Public health officials have confirmed a second COVID-19-related death in Waterloo Region.
"I'll start my update by letting you know that, sadly, we have just received confirmation of our second death from COVID-19 in Waterloo Region," Acting Medical Officer Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang said at the start of the news conference.
"This is an especially difficult time for family and loved ones and I wish to express my deepest condolences to them."
On Wednesday, officials said the patient was a man in his 50s who was hospitalized at St. Mary's General Hospital.
Dr. Wang says he had a pre-existing medical condition, and says that public health officials are still getting more information.
His name was not released.
The news comes the same day that another 14 cases of COVID-19 were announced in Waterloo Region, bringing the local total to 117.
That's according to the Region of Waterloo Public Health website, which is updated every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
The region's total includes presumptive cases and laboratory-confirmed cases. As of Wednesday, the region no longer differentiates between the two on its website.
Of the 117 cases, 21 people are hospitalized, but the region says that 39 of the cases have been hospitalized at some point.
Wednesday's death announcement marks the second from the virus in the region. On Tuesday, a 41-year-old Waterloo man died of COVID-19. He had also been hospitalized at St. Mary's General Hospital.
As promised by Dr. Wang on Tuesday, the region has begun reporting cases of COVID-19 in local healthcare workers.
According to the region's website, 28 cases--or 24 per cent--are in this category.
The region is also breaking down cases by age. So far, the demographic hit hardest is those in their 50s, who represent 29 per cent of cases. That's followed by those in their 20s, who make up 21 per cent.
Wednesday was also the first time that the region has noted how many hospitalized patients, past or present, have been in intensive-care units. As of Wednesday, 15 people have been treated in an ICU.
Status of COVID-19
Two outbreaks of the virus have been reported in Waterloo Region long-term care or retirement homes.
Outbreaks have been declared at both Sunnyside Home and Highview Residences. The region notes, however, that an outbreak is defined as one or more cases. That's based on the province's definition of an outbreak, because physical distancing in these settings is virtually impossible.
Joy Birch is the Chief Operating Officer at Highview Residences. She says that two residents have tested positive, and another's test is pending.
She says staff and residents are being screened twice a day for symptoms, and that no staff have been infected.
Another 426 cases have been confirmed across Ontario, pushing the province's total over 2,000. Almost 700 of those cases have been resolved.