For the sixth weekday in a row, Waterloo Public Health reported a new COVID-19-related death in Waterloo Region, raising the death toll in the area to 348.
The agency does not update its dashboard on weekends but there were 20 deaths reported over that eight-day span.
The latest victim was connected to PeopleCare Hilltop Manor in Cambridge, where a COVID-19 outbreak was declared on Jan. 5, which has been connected to 59 cases involving staff members with a further 89 involving residents.
The outbreak is one of 76 active in the area, with 35 involving long-term care or retirement homes, 27 connected to congregate settings and the other 12 in hospitals.
As of Friday morning, the hospitals in the region said they were caring for 125 patients suffering from COVID-19 and that there were eight available intensive care unit beds among the three.
The three hospitals were also short 26 surgical and medical beds as they continued to deal with the surge of patients brought on by the Omicron variant of COVID-19.
Waterloo Public Health reported another 216 positive tests for the coronavirus, raising the total number of cases in the area to 37,941.
This drops the rolling seven-day average number of new daily cases back down to 204.7. On Monday that number was 286.6, however, 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 254 people have also been cleared of the virus, pushing the number of resolved cases across the region to 35,172.
This leaves the area with 1,949 active COVID-19 cases, down 51 from Monday.
On the flip side of the coin, there have now been 1,221,081 COVID-19 vaccinations done in Waterloo Region, 2,766 more than was announced 24 hours earlier.
A total of 261,972 area residents have now had three doses of COVID-19 vaccine, which is an increase of 1,936 over Thursday’s report.
And another 749 residents of the region got their second dose, raising the total number of people who are considered to be fully vaccinated to 473,971 which works out to be 78.31 per cent of the area’s population. This number climbs to 83.71 if you discount those who are ineligible to be vaccinated.
Elsewhere, Ontario reported that there are 3,535 people in hospital with COVID-19 on Friday, with 607 in intensive care units.
This is down by 110 hospitalizations but an increase of eight in ICUs since the previous day.
Meanwhile, Ontario also reported 5,337 new lab-confirmed 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 1,021,436.
The death toll in the province has risen to 11,298 as 68 more virus-related deaths were added.
— with files from Global News’ Gabby Rodrigues