KITCHENER -- Region of Waterloo Public Health reported 36 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday as the disease continued to surge.

The same day, another nine cases were attributed to a restaurant in Kitchener. There have been 38 cases linked to an outbreak at Algarve Restaurant after one was declared on Nov. 8. At the time, public health officials warned that as many as 175 people may have been exposed there.

There have been a total of 2,848 cases of COVID-19 in Waterloo Region since the pandemic began, including 2,359 resolved cases and 122 deaths. That leaves 367 cases, a number that has more than tripled so far this month: back on Nov. 1, the region's dashboard showed just 116 active cases.

The region also reported on Wednesday that 18 people are in hospital with the disease. That's an increase of 50 per cent since Monday.

The increase comes as public health officials warn that Waterloo Region could be heading towards a lockdown unless residents take immediate action.

As it stands, several of the region's key COVID-19 indicators would place it in the province's red level of the Keeping Ontario Safe and Open Framework:

  • Effective reproduction rate (Rt): 1.4 (red threshold is 1.2 or higher)
  • Seven-day rolling positivity rate: 3.2 per cent (red threshold is 2.5 per cent or higher)

Across the province, there was a total of 1,417 cases of COVID-19 reported. Thirty-two more people have died from the disease, too.

There have now been a total of 98,162 cases in Ontario, including 81,925 recoveries and 3,415 deaths.

This is a developing story. More to come...