KITCHENER -- Waterloo Region has surpassed 15,000 total COVID-19 cases to date, reporting 45 more on Thursday.

Thursday's update brings the total number of cases in the region to 15,034, including 14,282 recoveries and 254 deaths.

The region's COVID-19 dashboard shows 2,497 cases have screened positive for a variant of concern, including 2,195 identified as the B.1.1.7 variant, three as the B.1.351 variant and 17 as the P.1 variant.

There are 473 active COVID-19 cases in the region as of Thursday.

At a press conference on Thursday afternoon, Premier Doug Ford extended the stay-at-home order for an additional two weeks. It's now set to expire on June 2.

“Make no mistake, we’re not out of the woods yet,” Ford said during the press conference.

Under the order, all non-essential businesses must remain closed. Residents are required to stay indoors unless they need to go out for an essential purpose.

There are currently 37 COVID-19-positive patients in Waterloo Region's hospitals, and 32 of those patients are in the ICU.

There are 16 active outbreaks in the region.

Ontario has now surpassed 500,000 total COVID-19 cases to date, reporting 2,759 more on Thursday.

The Ministry of Health says the province's positivity rate now sits at 5.7 per cent.

So far, Ontario has reported 502,171 cases of COVID-19, including 464,531 recoveries and 8,405 deaths.

The seven-day average for new cases is at 2,730, down from 3,368 a week ago and 3,810 two weeks ago.

With files from