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7 more COVID-19 outbreaks declared in Waterloo Region as total rises to 18

Waterloo Public Health reported seven new COVID-19 outbreaks on Tuesday, lifting the total number of outbreaks in the area to 18.

Although this is nowhere near the area’s high, as it has been over 50, the total is still double what it was just three days earlier.

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There is also a wide range among the new outbreaks as the list includes two in congregate settings, one in a trade, one at a food processing plant, one at a construction site and one at the Kaljas Home in downtown Kitchener.

The last one involves the adult inpatient mental health unit at Grand River Hospital in Kitchener.

The hospital says four patients have tested positive for the coronavirus but so far no staff members have been affected.

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The hospital says it has implemented a number of measures to combat the spread of the virus, including closing admissions to the unit and suspending in-person care partner visits.

The existing outbreak at a congregate setting in Kitchener and Waterloo has now seen 104 people test positive for COVID-19, while another at the Village of Winston Park long-term care home has now seen four staff members and six patients test positive.

Over the weekend, Waterloo Public Health announced that a 90-year-old woman who was a resident of the home had died in part because of the virus despite having received two doses of COVID-19 vaccine.

There have been no COVID-19-related deaths reported since then, leaving the death toll in the area at 260, including four this month.

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The number of new cases continues to remain relatively high as well as Waterloo Public Health reported another 50 positive tests for the coronavirus on Tuesday, lifting the total number of cases in the area to 17,139.

This drops the rolling seven-day average slightly down to 60.6.

Another 57 people were also cleared of the virus, pushing the total number of resolved cases in the area to 16,331.

This drops the number of active cases to 522, down from the 530 reported on Monday.

There are still 57 people in area hospitals as a result of COVID-19, including 22 who are in intensive care units.

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On the other end of the spectrum, Waterloo Region’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution task force says there have now been 474,314 vaccinations in the area, 7,320 more than what was reported a day earlier.

A large portion of that total comes from the close to 6,000 more people who are now fully vaccinated.

The task force says 94,251 people are now fully vaccinated, 5,973 more than it reported a day earlier.

This represents 20.16 per cent of adults in the area, or 16.01 per cent of Waterloo Region’s entire population of around 588,000 people.

The area has also now seen more than 75 per cent (75.17) of adults receive at least one dose of the vaccine, a number that falls to 63.43 per cent among the population as a whole.

The goal is to see at least 75 per cent of the population vaccinated, which, in theory, would achieve herd immunity.

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Ontario reports 296 new COVID-19 cases and 60 deaths, an overestimation due to data cleanup

Elsewhere, Ontario is reporting 296 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, which health officials said is an overestimation due to data cleanup. The provincial case total now stands at 542,764.

According to Tuesday’s report, 123 cases were recorded in Toronto, although officials said about 80 of those cases are from 2020 as part of the cleanup.

There were 61 new cases in Waterloo Region, 37 in York Region and 20 in Peel Region, which is the lowest daily increase in that region since late August, while all other health units reported fewer than 20 new cases.

The numbers from Waterloo Region and the provincial government differ as they are reported from different points of the day.

The death toll in the province has risen to 9,082 as 60 more deaths were recorded. However, Ontario health officials said 54 of those deaths were from previous months and were not inputted into the system.

—With files from Global News’ Gabby Rodrigues

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