KITCHENER -- Region of Waterloo Public Health has confirmed two more cases of COVID-19 in Waterloo Region, bringing the total confirmed locally to three.

The news was issued in a media release on Thursday morning, which says that they have laboratory confirmation of these new cases.

"This was not unexpected given the current situation around the world," says Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang, Region of Waterloo’s Acting Medical Officer of Health, in a media release.

In one case, a female in her 60s who had been aboard a Celebrity Cruise acquired the virus.

Public Health officials say the cruise left Puerto Rico on March 1, and visited St. Thomas, St. Martin, Barbados, Dominique and Grenada before returning home to Puerto Rico on March 7.

The woman was reportedly asymptomatic when she was travelling and self-isolated at home when her symptoms developed.

The other case was confirmed in a man in his 40s who had recently travelled to Las Vegas. That's where he acquired the illness, officials say.

He was also asymptomatic during travel, and developed symptoms after returning to Canada.

Both patients took private transportation to Grand River Hospital on March 10 for assessment and testing.

Public Health officials say they are in the process of conducting case management for the man's case.

In one of the two cases, Wang says that a family member that travelled and a couple of family members have symptoms as well. They are in the process of being tested for the virus, as well.

"We continue to work closely with local hospitals and our health care partners to detect and manage potential cases of COVID-19," Wang is quoted in the release.

"We are preparing to see additional cases in Waterloo Region, in line with the increasing number of cases in Ontario and Canada."

Region of Waterloo Public Health says that the best defence against the spread of germs and viruses is hand-washing.

They're reminding the public to use warm water and soap for 20 seconds, or to use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer as a back-up.

Canada has had more than 100 confirmed cases of COVID-19 so far, most of which have been found in Ontario and British Columbia.

The federal government has announced $1 billion in funding to help fight the novel coronavirus.

This is a breaking news update. Check back for more details…