KITCHENER -- More help is on the way for the region's top public health doctor.

Two new senior public health doctors will be brought on at a special council meeting Wednesday evening to help the Region managed the COVID-19 pandemic.

The move comes as a directive from the provincial government for many areas across Ontario as well.

Regional Chair Karen Redman says the decision offers more top level support for officials who are vital to the health and safety of the community.

"Doctor [Hsiu-Li] Wang was doing it all by herself non-stop for several weeks," said Redman. "We need to be very cognizant that we were not burning out these key people and they are there for the long haul.

"People keep saying this is a marathon – not a sprint."

Dr. Ryan Van Meer and Dr. Julie Emili will rotate with Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang – the Region of Waterloo's acting Medical Officer of Health – in 24 hour shifts to help prevent burnout.

The virtual council meeting will also be used to evaluate the region's response so far to the pandemic and communicate with the public.

"We have people who are worried about paying their rent, so those kinds of services need to be there for the public," said Redman. "I think social services, even if it's virtual, can help make sure people have peace of mind and rely on the type of supports we provide."

The region will also be falling into line with the province and extending the closure of all facilities until at least May 4.