9 deaths from COVID-19 in Waterloo region, 2 in Guelph as of Friday

Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph public health reported its second COVID-19 related death Friday, as Waterloo region public health noted the area's ninth death from the coronavirus. The fourth death of a Waterloo region care home resident has been reported.

Second death in Guelph, Kitchener death at Forest Heights Revera home, public health data shows

Nine people have died from COVID-19 in Waterloo region as of Good Friday morning, the public health authority says. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

Good Friday in Waterloo region saw the number of reported cases of COVID-19 rise to 242, and there was an increase of health care workers who tested positive to 74 people. That group now represents 31 per cent of positive cases in the area.

Waterloo Region Public Health defines health care workers as "those involved in direct patient care."

Nine people have now died from COVID-19 in Waterloo region, numbers released Friday showed. That's four percent of cases, the data indicates.

The most recent deaths in the region have involved people who were over the age of 70 and had pre-existing medical conditions, acting regional medical officer of health Hsiu-Li Wang said Friday.

The number of patient cases at long-term care facilities has risen to 31, plus 21 staff who live in the region. There have been four deaths in the region's care homes, the latest at Forest Heights Revera, regional data showed.

  • 2,792 tests have been done.
  • 17 people are awaiting test results.
  • 77 cases have been marked as resolved.
  • 55 people are in hospital, 28 of those in intensive care units.
  • 74 cases (31 per cent) of people infected with COVID-19 are health care workers.

The region is not currently testing everyone with symptoms for COVID-19. Public health has said there are certain groups who are prioritized for testing including healthcare workers, hospital patients and people living and working in long-term care homes.

Wang said the region has recently acquired more testing kits and planned to start increased testing as of Friday, with a particular focus on those in long-term care homes.

Second death in Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph

As of Friday, there has been a second death reported by Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph public health, according to the health unit's website. The latest death occurred at St. Joseph's Health Centre on April 8. 

There have been a total of 132 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the region, up from 115 cases confirmed on Wednesday. About half the cases are in Guelph, the data shows

Numbers released by public health show there are eight people in hospital and five in intensive care. 

So far, 24 cases have been resolved, according to public health. 

Long-term care home outbreaks

There are 11 outbreaks of COVID-19 at long-term care facilities in Waterloo region: 

  • Highview Residences in Kitchener, where 10 residents and 3 staff member tested positive. Three people have died at the home.
  • Sunnyside Home in Kitchener, where four staff members have tested positive.
  • Forest Heights Revera in Kitchener, where 18 residents and 11 staff members have tested positive. One death was reported by public health at the facility.
  • St. Luke's Place in Cambridge, where one staff member has tested positive.
  • The Village at University Gates in Waterloo, where one resident and one staff member have tested positive.
  • Chartwell Westmount LTC in Kitchener, where one staff member has tested positive.
  • Millwood Manor in Kitchener, where one resident has tested positive.
  • Lanark Heights LTC in Kitchener, where one resident and one staff member have tested positive.
  • St. Andrew's Terrace LTC in Cambridge, where one staff member has tested positive.
  • Chartwell Clair Hills Retirement Home in Waterloo, has one staff member who has tested positive.
  • Granite Landing Retirement Home in Cambridge, has one staff member who has tested positive.

Public health officials said an outbreak is declared once a single case tests positive in a long-term care facility.

Modelling shows possible death toll

At a media briefing Friday, Wang provided new numbers about the possible impact of the pandemic, based on the province's modelling projections. She cautioned that models cannot predict what will happen, but help public health officials make decisions based on what could happen.

By April 30, she said the approximate number of deaths in Waterloo region could total:

  • 246 in the absence of public health measures.
  • 66 with public health measures.

Over the course of the pandemic, she said the projected number of deaths in Waterloo region could total:

  • 4,100 in the absence of public health measures.
  • 615 with public health measures.

Wang noted that the province is in the process of refining its models and numbers will be updated in the future.

Holiday weekend precautions

Regional chair Karen Redman once again urged people to avoid driving to parks and trails over the long weekend.

"We still see overcrowding at local parks and trails," Redman said, noting that crowding is also a problem at busy parking lots.

"The safest thing to do at this stage of the pandemic is simply to stay home."

Redman and Wang also thanked those who took part in virtual Seder celebrations and reminded people celebrating religious holidays this weekend to do so through phone calls and online conversations.

"If we let up our guard even momentarily, this can and will lead to an escalation of cases," Wang said.