WATERLOO -- Health officials in Waterloo Region logged 26 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday as active infections dropped below 200.

The new cases bring the region's total caseload since the pandemic began to 18,150, including 17,664 resolved infections and 280 deaths.

Active cases in Waterloo Region dropped by 19 in the past day, now down to 197.

Hospitalizations also declined by three. There are now 23 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in the region, with 13 of those receiving treatment in area intensive care units.

The number of active outbreaks remains unchanged, still sitting at 13.

Another seven COVID-19 infections were confirmed as variant of concern cases in Saturday's report, bringing the total number of variant cases to 4,401.

Waterloo Region's variant breakdown is as follows:

  • 3,121 are the Alpha variant, first identified in the United Kingdom and originally known as B.1.1.7
  • 15 are the Beta variant, originally detected in South Africa and previously referred to as B.1.315
  • 62 are the Gamma variant, initially discovered in Brazil and labelled as P.1
  • 903 are the Delta variant, first found in India and previously called B.1.617
  • 300 cases have had a mutation detected, but have not yet had a variant strain confirmed

Meanwhile, health partners across Waterloo Region administered another 7,106 COVID-19 vaccine doses on Friday. That brings the total number of jabs put in arms since the vaccine rollout began to 694,416.

More than 80.3 per cent of residents 12 and older have received at least one dose, while more than 57 per cent of the eligible population is fully immunized.

Province-wide, health officials confirmed 176 new COVID-19 cases and three deaths in Saturday's update.

The latest cases bring Ontario’s lab-confirmed COVID-19 case total to 548,040, including 537,379 recoveries and 9,288 deaths.

The seven-day average for the number of new cases reported across the province is 151, down from 188 a week ago.