Waterloo Public Health reported another five COVID-19-related deaths on Thursday, lifting the death toll in the region to 370 including 11 people over the first three days of February.
“Today we are reporting five deaths in our community related to COVID-19. The individuals were three males in their 80s, one female in her 80s, and a male in his 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 those victims was a resident of the Peoplecare Hilltop Manor in Cambridge, where a COVID-19 outbreak was declared on Jan. 5 which has now been connected to four deaths as well as 184 cases involving staff or residents.
The outbreak is one of 60 currently active in the region, a number which includes 31 at long-term-care or retirement homes, 16 in congregate settings and 13 at the three area hospitals.
The three hospitals currently have 106 patients receiving treatment for COVID-19, including 21 who are in need of intensive care.
Waterloo Public Health also reported another 203 new positive tests for the coronavirus on Thursday, lifting the total number of cases in the area to 38,762.
This drops the rolling seven-day average number of new daily cases down to 148.3. A week ago, that number was 226.9, but the numbers are considered an underestimation of actual community caseload since changes to testing availability have decreased the veracity of the totals.
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Another 203 people have also been cleared of the virus, lifting the total number of resolved cases up to 36,285.
This leaves the area with 1,498 active COVID-19 cases, down from the 2,000 reported last Thursday.
Waterloo Public Health also reported that there have now been 1,233,667 COVID-19 vaccinations in the area, which is up 1,752 from Wednesday.
Another 1.256 area residents have received a third dose of vaccine while another 637 got a second dose.
This means that 478,573 residents have now had two doses of vaccine and are considered fully vaccinated which works out to about 79.07 per cent of the population.
Elsewhere, Ontario reported 2,797 people in hospital with COVID-19 on Thursday with 541 in intensive care units.This is down by 142 hospitalizations and a decrease of 14 in ICUs since the previous day. Last Thursday, there were 3,645 hospitalizations with 599 in ICU.
Meanwhile, Ontario also reported 4,098 new lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases on Thursday, 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 1,043,923.
The death toll in the province has risen to 11,651 as 75 more virus-related deaths were added.
– with files from Global News’ Gabby Rodrigues