COVID-19-related death connected to construction outbreak in Waterloo Region

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For just the second time since the pandemic began, a COVID-19-related death has been connected to a workplace outbreak in Waterloo Region.

Waterloo Public Health says a man in his 60s has died in connection to a construction-related outbreak that began three days ago and has led to four cases.

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“The individual related to the outbreak was a male in his 60s and was resident of Southwestern Public Health,” a spokesperson for Waterloo Public Health told Global News in an email.

“His death has been reported by that health unit.”

In addition, the agency is also reporting that a local woman has also suffered a COVID-19-related death.

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“The individual was a female in her 90s,” Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang said in a statement. “I wish to express my deep sympathy to the family and loved ones of the individual.”

This raises the death toll in the area to 249 including six in the month of April.

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There were also a slew of new COVID-19 outbreaks in the area including a second at École Secondary Catholic Père-René-De-Galinée in Cambridge as well as others in auto sales, retail, trades and an office.

One has also ended at Highland Public School in Cambridge which leaves the area with 28 active COVID-19 outbreaks.

One outbreak at a food processing plant has now been connected to 15 active cases.

Last month, Waterloo Public Health said that it would name locations where there were 15 active cases but the agency says that this incidence does not reach all of the qualifications which must be met which include includes 15 cases, 15 per cent positivity and 20 or more employees.

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A spokesperson for Waterloo Public Health assured Global News that there have been outbreaks in the past which would have met those stringent requirements.

The agency announced another 84 positive tests for the coronavirus on Thursday, lifting the total number of cases in the area to 13,587.

At the same time, another 84 people have also been cleared of the virus, raising the total number of resolved cases to 12,738.

This leaves the area with 583 active COVID-19 cases, a small decrease from Wednesday’s number.

There are now 62 people in area hospitals as a result of the virus, including 24 who are intensive care.

In addition, Waterloo’s vaccine distribution task force says there have now been 162,343 vaccinations done in the area, an increase of 5,954 more than what it reported a day earlier.

This means that 24.88 per cent of Waterloo Region residents have now received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, a number that climbs to 31.53 per cent if you discount those who are under 18.

Read more: Ontario reports nearly 3,700 new COVID-19 cases, 40 deaths as ICU patients surpass 800

Elsewhere, Ontario reported 3,682 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday. The provincial total now stands at 432,805.

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According to Thursday’s report, 1,131 cases were recorded in Toronto, 507 in Peel Region, 436 in York Region, 279 in Ottawa and 200 in Durham Region.

All other local public health units reported fewer than 200 new cases in the provincial report.

The death toll in the province has risen to 7,829 as 40 more deaths were recorded, a third wave high.

–With files from Global News’ Gabby Rodrigues

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