KITCHENER -- Waterloo Region's top doctor said a COVID-19 variant of concern is responsible for a COVID-19 outbreak at a Catholic secondary school.

Medical Officer of Health Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang said three students at Monsignor Doyle Catholic Secondary School have tested positive for the disease. They're all in the same cohort and isolating.

Speaking at a Board of Health meeting on Wednesday, Dr. Wang said there are also cases of these variants in long-term care homes in the region.

Regional officials have ramped up contact tracing to keep track of these cases.

There are four confirmed variant cases in the region, along with 55 cases that have screened postiive for a variant that hasn't been identified yet.

"Public health is treating every single case of COVID-19 as a potential variant, before the variant is identified," Dr. Wang said. "Provincial modelling projects that variants will become the predominant strain in March."

Dr. Wang added case numbers are stable in Waterloo Region, but are no longer improving.

They are also noticing more spread through gatherings and social interactions during contact tracing, Dr. Wang said.