Coronavirus: 16 new cases of COVID-19 reported in Waterloo Region

Click to play video: 'COVID-19 Monday Morning Update'
COVID-19 Monday Morning Update
WATCH: COVID-19 Monday morning update – Mar 23, 2020

There are now 32 people in Waterloo Region who are believed to have contracted COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, according to Waterloo Public Health.

The agency updated its website on Monday morning and included presumptive cases for the first time. The list includes 15 of those.

During a media briefing on Monday morning, Waterloo Region’s acting medical officer of health Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang said the list of new cases includes a Waterloo Region paramedic as well as someone in a residential care setting.
We have received laboratory confirmation that a Region of Waterloo paramedic has tested presumptive positive for COVID-19,” she said. “As a precaution, the paramedics shift partner is currently in self isolation and is symptom free at this time.”
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“A presumptive positive case is one that is very likely to receive a laboratory confirmation in the coming days,” Wand explained.
The region’s top doctor said the Region of Waterloo Paramedic services is currently contacting anyone who may have come in contact with its employee.
She said that they will not be releasing the name of the care home where the person was found to be infected.
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“At this time, we are not identifying the specific setting as there isn’t an impact for the broader community and to allow the setting to focus on putting in place the appropriate measures and notifying their residents and staff,” Wang said.
There are now eight people in hospital with coronavirus according to the list, including the first confirmed case in Waterloo Region.

A woman in her 50s was announced by public health officials on March 5. In that instance, a woman had returned from a trip abroad to Italy, officials say.

At this point, I understand her status is stable,” Wang said.

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There were also three people added to the list who are either presumptive cases or have tested positive at Cambridge Memorial Hospital.

Seven of the new cases acquired the disease through either close contact or while in the community.

The others were said to have picked up the disease while travelling or the cause remain under investigation.

Wang said there have now been 984 people tested in the region with 565 confirmed negative and 434 others being monitored

“We expect to see numbers continue to rise in the near future,” she said.

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Last Thursday, Waterloo Public Health also announced the first confirmed case obtained through community transmission.

Public health officials said a woman in her 20s developed symptoms on March 11 and was tested at St. Mary’s General Hospital on March 13.

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According to officials, the patient is an employee of the hospital who is self-isolating at home.

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Waterloo Public Health is expected to provide an update to media on Monday morning.

Ontario health officials have announced there are 412 active cases of COVID-19 in the province as of March 22.

Ontario has tested 26,420 people for COVID-19, and 8,361 patients are currently under investigation, while 17,634 have come back negative.

— With files from Global News’ Jessica Patton

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