Kitchener-Waterloo

No new cases of COVID-19 reported in Waterloo region on Tuesday

The region's acting medical officer of health says it appears the first wave of COVID-19 is over in Waterloo region. There were no new cases reported Tuesday. There are currently 41 active cases in the region and there is one outbreak in a long term care home.

1 outbreak at a long term care home, 41 active cases in region

Signs in Kitchener's Victoria Park remind people to keep a physical distance between themselves and others to curb the spread of COVID-19. (Kate Bueckert/CBC)

For the first time since March, there are no new COVID-19 cases in Waterloo region, public health reports.

The number of all cases held steady at 1,384 on Tuesday, according to the Region of Waterloo Public Health's dashboard.

The region has been seeing a lower number of positive cases over the past few weeks. When the acting medical officer of health was asked if she thought the region was out of the first wave of the virus, Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang said yes.

"It looks like it. It looks like we're out of the first wave," Wang said Tuesday during a regular media briefing.

There are currently 41 active cases in the region with 13 people in hospital. There is one active outbreak at a long term care home in Waterloo where one staff member has tested positive for the virus.

The region has seen 119 people die from COVID-19 while 1,224 cases, or 88 per cent, have been marked as resolved. 

The region has also seen more than 50,200 tests completed.

Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang is Waterloo region's acting medical officer of health. (Carmen Groleau/CBC)

Increasing cases in younger people

Wang says since July 7, the region has only seen one age group where positive case numbers have increased by double digits. That's in the 20 to 29-year-old age range, which saw cases rise from 204 to 227. 

"Since May 25, when province opened up testing to anyone who would like a test, the biggest change in age distribution of positive cases has been in the 19 or under and 20 to 29-year-old age groups," Wang said.

"Before May 25, these age groups consisted of 15 per cent of all cases. But since May 25, they make up 40 per cent of all positive cases."

Wang said some people seem to be confused by social circles or bubbles. The province currently allows people to have 10 people in their social circle, and these are individuals that people can physically interact with and do not need to maintain a two metre distance, Wang said.

"Your social circle is a fixed group and doesn't fluctuate depending on the activity or gathering. So it's not one group of 10 people one day and another group of 10 people another day," she said.

"Whether your social circle has two, five or up to 10 people, it's the same two, five or up to 10 people. We all need to maintain physical distancing with anyone outside of our social circle."

She said social settings such as larger family gatherings or larger social circles appear to be a risk factor in new cases. Wang also said international travel also remains a concern and people who return from another country must self-isolate and take measures to protect others in their household.

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