Death toll at Kitchener long-term care home rises to 23

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The number of COVID-19-related deaths at Forest Heights Long-Term Care home in Kitchener has risen to 23, Waterloo Public Health announced Friday.

In its daily update, the agency announced six more deaths in the region including five at Forest Heights and another at Victoria Place Retirement Residence. Both homes are operated by Revera Retirement Living.

“Some of these deaths were identified through posthumous testing,” Hsiu-Li Wang, the region’s acting medical officer of health, said Friday. “This is due to the fact that in these settings, we are testing people who have passed away, even when they have previously tested negative.”

Wang says these numbers will continue to rise in long-term care and retirement homes.

“Very sadly I expect to see an increase in deaths in these settings going forward,” she said.

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“The loss of a loved one is always painful and our current situation has made grieving even more difficult. I wish to express my deepest condolences to the families, loved ones and caregivers of those who have passed,” she added.

READ MORE: 8 more coronavirus deaths at long-term care homes in Waterloo Region

Forest Heights has now seen 118 residents and 45 staff members test positive for the virus while 13 residents of Victoria Place have also tested positive.

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A total of 45 people in the region have now suffered COVID-19-related deaths, with 35 of those involving people from long-term care or retirement homes.

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“There are currently 10 long term care or retirement homes in outbreak,” Wang said. “Seven facilities have had their outbreaks declared over.”

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She said that number could still grow as testing continues to expand at the homes.

Another 22 people have tested positive in Waterloo Region for coronavirus bringing the total number of COVID-19 cases to 604, according to Waterloo Public Health.

It provides a daily update on the spread of the virus on its website based upon where things stood at 7 p.m. the night before.

READ MORE: Live updates: Coronavirus in Canada


Ontario reported 640 new cases of the novel coronavirus  and 50 additional deaths, bringing the provincial total to 13,519 cases.

The reported death toll has risen to 763.

Meanwhile, 7,087 people have recovered from COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, which is 52.4 per cent of cases.

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