KITCHENER -- Region of Waterloo Public Health officials reported 69 more cases of COVID-19 on Thursday.

It's the highest case count increase since Feb. 5, when officials added 77 more cases.

There was also a new death from the disease reported Thursday, the first since Feb. 17. There have been 223 deaths related to the disease to date.

The number of active cases rose by 41 to 357.

There have been 10,537 cases of COVID-19 in the region to date. Of those, 9,950 are considered resolved.

There are 32 people receiving treatment for COVID-19 in hospital, including seven in the ICU.

The region’s COVID-19 dashboard also say there are now seven confirmed cases of the variant originally found in the U.K., known as B.1.1.7. There are also 60 cases that have screened positive for one of the variants of concern, but they haven’t been specified yet.

The number of active outbreaks in Waterloo Region dropped Thursday to 21.

Ontario reported 1,138 new infections on Thursday, along with 23 more deaths. The seven-day average for new cases has risen slightly to 1,098 from 1,015 a week ago.

There were 66,351 COVID-19 tests performed across the province in the last 24 hours and the positivity rate sits at two per cent.

There have been 297,311 lab-confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in Ontario to date.