Waterloo Public Health reported 121 new positive tests for the coronavirus on Thursday, the highest single-day total number of new COVID-19 cases in over five months.
This brings the total number of COVID-19 cases in the area to 21,755 while pushing the rolling seven-day average number of new daily cases up to 69.1, up from 39.6 a week earlier.
For the third day in a row, a new death was reported in the area, bringing the death toll up to 312, including five victims in December.
The latest casualty was a resident of the Lanark Heights Long Term Care home in Kitchener, where an outbreak has swollen to include four staff members and five residents.
There are now 21 active outbreaks in the area after new ones were declared at Monsignor Doyle Catholic Secondary School in Cambridge, St. Paul Catholic Elementary School in Kitchener, an unnamed manufacturing plant and another connected to hockey.
There are now three active outbreaks in the area connected to hockey with the other two continuing to grow.
An outbreak involving the Cambridge Roadrunners has now been linked to 26 cases while another involving the Hespeler Shamrocks is now up to 16 cases.
Another 21 people were also cleared of the virus, moving the number of resolved cases in the region up to 20,856.
This leaves the area with 582 active COVID-19 cases, up almost 100 from the 483 reported on Wednesday.
There are still 12 patients in area hospitals suffering from COVID-19 including four people who are in need of intensive care.
Waterloo Public Health reported that there have now been 972,160 vaccinations done in the area, which is 5,520 more than it reported on Thursday.
A large portion of these appear to be people getting a third dose as the total number of residents who have had three jabs rose by 4,872 to 48,889.
Elsewhere, Ontario reported 2,421 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, as positive infections continue to surge daily amid the highly contagious Omicron variant. The provincial case total now stands at 639,341.
Over the last three days, there were 1,808 new cases reported Wednesday, 1,429 on Tuesday, and 1,536 on Monday. Thursday’s count is the highest one-day total since May 15 when 2,584 new cases were recorded.
However, as infections surge, patients with COVID-19 in intensive care units have remained relatively stable but are overall on a slow rise.
Of the 2,421 new cases recorded, the data showed 686 were unvaccinated people, 72 were partially vaccinated people, 1,530 were fully vaccinated people and for 133 people the vaccination status was unknown.
According to Thursday’s report, 505 cases were recorded in Toronto, 206 in Ottawa, 190 in the Kingston area, 153 in Peel Region,143 in York Region, 130 in Windsor-Essex and 115 in Niagara. All other local public health units reported fewer than 115 new cases in the provincial report.
The death toll in the province has risen to 10,102 as nine more deaths were reported.
— with files from Global News’ Gabby Rodrigues