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Waterloo Region remains in red-restrict level of Ontario’s COVID-19 response system

Waterloo Region will remain in the red-restrict level of the province’s colour-coded COVID-19 pandemic response system for at least another week.

Each Friday, the province announces any changes it makes in restrictions for different regions of Ontario.

Read more: Another COVID-19 outbreak declared at school in Waterloo Region, 3rd in a week

This week, the London area and Thunder Bay were moved into the orange-restrict level while the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District were placed in the yellow-protect level.

“Over the last seven days we have seen the trends in key public health indicators continue to go in the wrong direction in these three regions,” Health Minister Christine Elliott said.

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Waterloo Region has been in the red zone since Nov. 21, and saw limits placed on the number of people inside a building and gyms and indoor fitness centres, among other items.

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In addition, Waterloo Region’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang has also issued a Section 25 order to businesses to limit the number of people, and another to the Mennonite community which has closed churches and schools.

She told reporters Friday morning she wanted more time to see what the effects of being in the red restrict level and her orders had before asking the province to place the area in the highest restriction level of grey.

“I’ve asked the province for more resources in order to maximize our chances of being successful under the current restrictions of the province as well as the additional restrictions that we have,” Wang said.

Read more: 71 more COVID-19 cases reported in Waterloo Region, total surpasses 3,800

On Thursday, the region issued a release in which it called on the provincial and federal governments to provide more assistance in dealing with the increased demands of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wang said she has heard back from upper levels of government on the issue.

“Since last night I’ve been getting calls so we’re in the process of speaking to ministry representatives,” she explained.

“I don’t know what the outcome will be but our experience has been that ministry staff are very responsive and they are working as hard as they can to get us what we need.”

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