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Waterloo Region once again worst in Ontario for number of new COVID-19 cases

Click to play video: 'COVID-19 surge in Ontario’s Waterloo region blamed on Delta variant' COVID-19 surge in Ontario’s Waterloo region blamed on Delta variant
WATCH: As Ontario moves towards lifting COVID-19 restrictions, the Waterloo region is reporting a surge in COVID-19 cases due to the Delta variant. Jamie Maraucher reports on how the variant may have been transmitted, and what experts say needs to be done to control the spread. – Jun 18, 2021

For the second time in three days, Waterloo Region had Ontario’s highest number of new COVID-19 cases, according to the province.

On Friday, Health Minister Christine Elliott reported 345 new positive tests for the coronavirus, with 85 of those COVID-19 cases coming from Waterloo Region.

Read more: How did Waterloo Region become one of Ontario’s major COVID-19 hot spots?

Both the much larger municipalities of Toronto and Peel Region had much lower new case counts as the province attributed 50 cases to each of the locales.

On Wednesday, Waterloo Region raised eyebrows across the province when the Ontario government reported it had the highest number of new COVID-19 cases.

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While most of Ontario is experiencing a decrease in cases, the region, which is home to around 588,000 people, had 71 new cases, according to the province. Much larger centres such as Peel Region (60), Toronto (54) and Ottawa (21) were well below the number of new cases reported for Waterloo Region.

On Thursday, Waterloo Region fell to second place behind Toronto.

Click to play video: 'Premier Doug Ford muses about moving up Step 2 of COVID-19 reopening plan' Premier Doug Ford muses about moving up Step 2 of COVID-19 reopening plan
Premier Doug Ford muses about moving up Step 2 of COVID-19 reopening plan – Jun 17, 2021

The region released its numbers at 1:30 p.m. as it collects its data at a different point in the day but on Wednesday and Thursday, it reported higher numbers.

It was a different story on Friday as the Waterloo Public Health reported 60 new COVID-19 cases.

Local officials have said that they believe the Delta variant, which is much more easily transmissible than others, is one of the main reasons the case count is so high.

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Read more: COVID-19 — Waterloo officials warn region may not move to Stage 2 of reopening with Ontario

Medical officer of health Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang spoke to the board of health on Wednesday afternoon, where she issued a warning that the region may not be able to move into Stage 2 of the province’s reopening plan with the rest of Ontario.

“I am also in discussions with the province regarding our current situation in Stage 1. We will need to watch the next few days closely,” she said.

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