COVID-19: 4 new deaths reported in Waterloo Region as hospitals care for 91 patients

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Waterloo Public Health reported another four COVID-19-related deaths on Wednesday, raising the death toll in the area to 381, including the 22 victims announced so far in February.

“Today we are reporting four deaths in our community related to COVID-19: one female in her 90s, 2 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.”

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All four were residents of long-term-care homes in the area, which each have been under outbreak status for over a month. The facilities include three in Cambridge: PeopleCare Hilltop Manor, St Andrews Terrace, and Saint Luke’s Place as well as Chartwell Westmount in Kitchener.

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There are 46 active COVID-19 outbreaks in the region including 23 in long-term-care or retirement homes, 11 in congregate settings and 12 in area hospitals.

The three area hospitals are also currently housing 91 patients suffering from COVID-19, including 22 who are in need of intensive care.

Waterloo Public Health also announced another 101 new positive tests for the coronavirus on Wednesday, lifting the total number of cases in the area to 29,308.

This drops the rolling seven-day average number of new daily cases to 102.  A week ago, that number was 154.7, but the testing 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 440 people were also deemed to have recovered from the virus, lifting the total number of resolved cases to 37,801.

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This leaves the area with 1,098 active cases, down from 1,175 on Tuesday and 1,527 a week earlier.

On the flip side, the pace of vaccinations in the area continues to slump as there have now been 1,242,264 done in the region, which is 713 more than was announced on Tuesday. Last Wednesday the total jumped by 1,390 while two weeks ago it was up 1,839.

Still, another 525 residents have received a third dose of COVID-119 vaccine while another 270 got their second jab. This means that 482,323 area residents have now received two doses and are considered fully vaccinated, which works out to be 79.69 per cent of the population.

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Elsewhere, Ontario reported 2,059 people in hospital with COVID on Wednesday, with 449 in intensive care units.

This is down by 195 hospitalizations and a decrease of 25 in ICUs since the previous day. Last Wednesday, there were 2,939 hospitalizations with 555 in ICU.

Meanwhile, Ontario also reported 3,162 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 1,061,403.

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The death toll in the province has risen to 11,944 as 66 more virus-related deaths were added. A Ministry of Health spokesperson said 65 of the deaths were from the past 30 days. One death occurred more than a month ago.

“Of these, three deaths occurred on Feb. 8, nine deaths occurred on Feb. 7 and 12 deaths occurred on Feb 6, with the remaining occurring in the preceding days,” the spokesperson said.

— with files from Global News’ Gabby Rodrigues

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