Waterloo Public Health reported six more COVID-19-related deaths on Friday morning, raising the death toll in the area to 334, including 21 victims in January.
“Today we are reporting six deaths in our community related to COVID-19: two females in their 90s, 3 females in their 80s, and one male in his 80s,” Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang, medical officer of health, stated.
“I wish to express my deep sympathy to the families of these individuals.”
The six victims were all connected to outbreaks at long-term care homes in the area, including two who were residents of Pinehaven Nursing Home, where an outbreak was declared on Jan. 5 and has grown to include 23 staff members and 12 residents.
The others involved residents of Chartwell Clair Hills in Waterloo, Cambridge Country Manor, Riverbend Place in Cambridge and the Sunnyside Home in Kitchener.
There are also now 145 people in local hospitals who are suffering from COVID-19, including 27 who need intensive care.
On Thursday, Kitchener’s Grand River Hospital issued a plea for area residents to get vaccinated, as it was running out of beds and said those who are unvaccinated are more likely to need treatment.
Waterloo Public Health reported another 371 new positive tests for the coronavirus on Friday, lifting the total number of cases in the area to 36,508.
This drops the rolling seven-day average number of new daily cases down to 382. That said, the agency has warned that due to testing availability, case counts on its dashboard are likely lower than the actual number of cases in Waterloo Region.
Another 527 people were also cleared of the virus, lifting the total number of resolved cases in the area to 32,393.
This leaves the area with 3,407 active COVID-19 cases, which is down from the 3,603 reported on Thursday.
Waterloo Public Health says there have now been 1,202,563 COVID-19 vaccinations done in the region, which is 3,644 more than it reported 24 hours earlier.
Another 3,039 area residents have received a third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, raising the total to 249,254.
The agency says 469,123 residents have had two doses of COVID-19 vaccine, which is up 434 from Thursday and also means that 77.51 per cent of all area residents are now vaccinated.
Elsewhere, Ontario reported 4,114 people in hospital with COVID-19 on Friday, with 590 in intensive care units.
The province also reported 7,165 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, though that is an underestimate of the true widespread transmission of the virus due to recent testing restrictions. The provincial case total now stands at 984359.
The death toll in the province has risen to 10,865 as 62 more virus-related deaths were added from over the past month.
— with files from Global News’ Gabby Rodrigues