Kitchener-Waterloo

Wellington County sees 1st case of COVID-19

The Region of Waterloo did not report any new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday morning, with the number of cases holding steady at 15. Meanwhile, Wellington County has seen its first case of the coronavirus, a man in his 60s who is in hospital in Mount Forest.
A man wearing a protective face mask walks past a spray painted wall saying "Wash your hands and don't touch your face" in downtown Vancouver on March 18. There were no new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Waterloo region on Sunday morning. (Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press)

The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 held steady at 15 in Waterloo region on Sunday with no new cases being reported on public health's website.

The website is updated daily at 10:30 a.m.

Of the 15 cases in the region, one is hospitalized. That case is a man in his 70s who was already in the hospital when he was tested for the coronavirus.

The other 14 cases are self-isolating at home. So far, none of the cases have been marked as resolved.

Last week, acting medical officer of health Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang said that's because people need to be tested and retested to make sure they no longer have the virus.

Wang says most test results come back within 72 hours, but the province has said some results are taking longer.

1st case in Wellington County

A man in his 60s is in hospital in Mount Forest after testing positive for COVID-19.

Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health said the man has not travelled recently and did not have contact with anyone with the virus.

"This is evidence that the COVID-19 virus is circulating in our community, and you can get it from another person," medical officer of health Dr. Nicola Mercer said in a release.

WDGPH says it is asking people to "limit trips outside the home to only what is necessary such as groceries or medical care."

The health unit earlier announced the first case in its coverage area, a man in his 40s who had travelled to Atlanta, Ga., and who was tested at the Headwaters Health Care Centre in Orangeville. Public health confirmed that man lives in Dufferin County.

6 workers at St. Mary's tested

St. Mary's General Hospital says six workers have been tested for COVID-19 after coming into contact with a patient who was in the hospital for other reasons and tested positive for the coronavirus.

The hospital came under fire from the Ontario Nurses' Association, which said more than 50 nurses were in contact with the patient.

The hospital said more than 50 staff members, some of which were nurses, did have contact with the patient. When the six employees showed symptoms, they were tested.

Playgrounds, GRCA parks closed

On Friday, the region announced more than 400 playgrounds were closed in the cities and townships, and signs would be posted.

In Guelph, signs were posted at playgrounds telling people to use the play equipment at their own risk as parks cannot be sanitized.

The City of Guelph, Ont., hasn't closed playgrounds but staff have posted signs warning the parks cannot be sanitized. Other municipalities have closed parks during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Kate Bueckert/CBC)

The Grand River Conservation Authority closed all Grand River Parks effective March 23.

The parks will be closed to visitors, including membership pass holders as well as day-use visitors until April 6.

GRCA officials said there have been an increase in visitors to the parks, particularly large groups, with some illegal parking and people entering areas that are marked closed.

New strategy for homeless

On Saturday, the region announced a new strategy to help people who are homeless to go into isolation if they experience symptoms of the coronavirus.

Part of that strategy also includes keeping shelters open 24 hours, seven days a week so people have a place to go.

As well in Kitchener, the vacant Charles Street Terminal will be opened from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.for people to take shelter from the weather and use the washrooms. Security and staff will be on site.

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