Waterloo Region's COVID-19 numbers are high but stable: public health officials
KITCHENER -- Waterloo Region's COVID-19 indicators are firmly in the province's red "control" zone, public health officials said on Tuesday morning.
Dr. Julie Emili, the region's associate medical officer of health, said during a committee of the whole meeting that the region's numbers are high but stable.
There are currently 347 active cases of COVID-19 in the region and 26 outbreaks, as of the region's 1:30 p.m. COVID-19 dashboard update.
Officials have identified 160 cases involving variants of concern. Of those, 11 have been identified as the B.1.1.7 variant, which was first identified in the U.K.; the rest are still being investigated.
Dr. Emili urged people to continue following public health measures, saying our efforts are making a difference.
"We know it can be hard to to see when public health measures are successful, because success is often the absence of the worst case scenario," she said during the meeting.
"The worst outcomes have been prevented so we're not seeing them. These measures are difficult but they have made an incredible difference."
Regional council members also asked a number of questions about the vaccine rollout on Tuesday.
CAO Bruce Lauckner said he's confident that they will ramp up to their goal of administering more than 50,000 vaccines per week as supply increases.
He added that so many members of the community have offered to volunteer with the vaccine efforts that they have more than 100 people they can't currently use. The challenge, he said, is clinical staff.
"There are only so many nurses and doctors, there are shortages in hospitals, in home care, for nursing and physician staff and that is our rate-limiting step," he said.
"That's not to say all those nurses and doctors aren't busting their butts, they're working during the day seeing patients and then they're working in the evening at these clinics or they're working in the evening and in the day at these clinics."
He said that they're also preparing to bring the vaccine to more areas as part of the ramp up, but so far, people from all over the region are coming to the clinics that are currently operating.