KITCHENER -- Health officials in Waterloo Region reported 29 more cases of COVID-19 on Friday.

Active cases dropped by 16, now sitting at 297. This is the first time the active case count has dropped below 300 this month.

The region has reported a total of 11,459 cases of COVID-19 so far, including 10,910 resolved ones. There was another death reported Friday, bringing that total to 240.

The region's COVID-19 dashboard now shows 261 cases have screened positive for a variant of concern. Of those, 17 are confirmed as the B.1.1.7 variant first identified in the U.K.

There are 23 people in hospital receiving COVID-19 treatment, including 10 in the ICU.

The region has 16 active outbreaks.

As of Friday, testing partners in the region have performed 408,395 COVID-19 tests.

The region's positivity rose slightly Friday from 2.1 per cent to 2.6 per cent.

The reproductive rate also increased to 1.0, up from 0.8 on Tuesday.

Ontario had a spike in new infections on Friday, adding 1,745 more cases. Ten more people have also died in the province as a result of the disease.

To date, officials have reported 325,254 lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 304,789 recoveries and 7,212 deaths.

There were 56,134 COVID-19 tests performed in the past 24 hours, and Ontario's positivity rate now sits at 3.3 per cent.