Death toll climbs to 346 in Waterloo Region as 4 more deaths reported Wednesday

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Waterloo Public Health reported four new COVID-19-related deaths on Wednesday, lifting the death toll in the area to 346, including 33 victims in January.

“Today we are reporting four deaths in our community related to COVID-19: three individuals in their 80s (one male, one female, one unspecified), and one female in her 70s,” Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang, medical officer of health, stated. “I wish to express my deep sympathy to the families of these individuals.”

One of the victims was a resident of the Trinity Village Studios retirement home in Kitchener, where a COVID-19 outbreak was declared on Jan. 7, which has been connected to nine staff members and 19 residents.

The outbreak is one of 75 active in the area — 36 are connected to long-term care or retirement homes, 27 are in congregate settings and the remaining 12 are in the three major hospitals in the area.

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Area hospitals are also currently treating 144 patients suffering from COVID-19, including 24 who are in need of intensive care.

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Waterloo Public Health also reported another 226 positive tests for the coronavirus, lifting the total number of COVID-19 cases in the area to 37,512.

This drops the rolling seven-day average number of new daily cases to 246.

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 416 people have also been cleared of the virus, lifting the total number of resolved cases in the area to 34,561.

This leaves the area with 2,162 active COVID-19 cases, which is a decrease of 212 from Tuesday.

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Waterloo Public Health reports that there have now been 1,258,005 COVID-19 vaccinations done in the region, an increase of 2,040 from Tuesday.

Another 1,550 area residents have now had a third dose of COVID-19 vaccine, pushing the total up to 258,005.

Another 530 people also received a second dose, raising the total number of people who are fully vaccinated to 472,423, which works out to 78.06 per cent of the area’s population.

Ontario is reporting 4,016 people in hospital with COVID-19 on Wednesday with 608 in intensive care units.

This is up by eight hospitalizations but a decrease of 18 in ICUs since the previous day.

The death toll in the province has risen to 11,160 as 92 more virus-related deaths were added.

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A spokesperson for Ontario’s Ministry of Health said 89 of the deaths occurred in the past 21 days. Three other deaths occurred more than a month ago and were added following a data cleanup, officials noted.

Meanwhile, Ontario also reported 5,368 new lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, 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 1,010,247.

— with files from Global News’ Gabby Rodrigues

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