Coronavirus-related death toll in Waterloo Region rises to 15

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A second death has been reported by Waterloo Public Health at the Kitchener long-term care home with one of the biggest coronavirus outbreaks in the country as the death toll in the region has risen to 15.

An outbreak began at Forest Heights Long Term Care home on April 1 and has now seen 51 residents and 27 staff members infected by COVID-19.

READ MORE: 9th person suffers coronavirus-related death in Waterloo Region

I think what we have seen across the province and with homes like Forest Heights is that this is something that can spread very rapidly, which is why very stringent measures need to be put in place for these homes,” Waterloo’s acting medical officer of health Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang said.

She says it remains unclear why the virus has spread at a more rapid rate at some long-term care homes than others.

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The first death of a resident at the home was reported on April 10.

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Wang says Revera, who owns the home, has been working with Public Health to deal with the issue.

“What I can tell you is that the appropriate precautions that need to be put in place, according to the latest guidelines, are being put in place,” she explained. “And I know the home is also working very hard and working collaboratively with us to implement those measures as soon as possible.”

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Fifteen people in the region have now suffered COVID-19 related deaths in Waterloo Region with eight of those involving people connected to long-term care homes in the area.

READ MORE: More than 2 million cases of coronavirus reported worldwide

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Five residents of Highview Residences Kitchener have died as has a resident of Lanark Heights

On Tuesday, Ontario Premier Doug Ford was scheduled to announce plans to combat the spread of the the virus at long-term care and retirement homes as there are now outbreaks at 15 .

Public Health reported 25 new cases of COVID-19 in the region on Wednesday bringing the total number of cases in the area to 379.

A total of 112 of those cases have been cleared of the virus.

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