Kitchener-Waterloo

No date yet for Waterloo region's move to Step 2

People in Waterloo region will have to wait a few days longer for word on a possible move to Step 2 of Ontario's reopening plan, as the area remains in a "precarious" situation due to the pandemic.

More news will be shared later this week, says Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang

Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang is Waterloo region's medical officer of health. Speaking at a board of health meeting Tuesday evening, Wang promised more news on a possible move to Step 2 of reopening later in the week. (Carmen Groleau/CBC)

People in Waterloo region will have to wait a few days longer for word on a possible move to Step 2 of Ontario's reopening plan. 

At a board of health meeting Tuesday, the region's medical officer of health noted case rates have dipped in recent days, but it remains in a "precarious" situation. 

"We will continue to watch the trends and I expect to be able to share more on Step 2 later this week," said Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang, who has said previously the region is likely to stay put until mid-July. 

The rest of the province moved into Step 2 last Wednesday while Waterloo region remained in Step 1. Reaction in the community has been mixed — with some anxious to reopen, while others have said they're willing to wait. 

Hospital remain under pressure

Numbers of hospitalizations, admissions to the intensive-care unit (ICU) and active outbreaks — which are considered lagging indicators — are stabilizing, but Wang noted local hospitals continue to be under pressure. 

On Tuesday, the number of people in the region's three hospitals rose by two to 48 with half of those people in the ICU.

Asked by regional Coun. Sue Foxton if, over time, the region might catch up with the rest of the province in a move to Step 3 — Wang said that's been the plan all along. 

"That has been the goal since the beginning, with the strategic temporary delay of movement into Step 2, to give our community the best chance to move into Step 2 as soon as we're able to, and then continue to move along with the province in the reopening phases thereafter."

"Sounds like a Merry Christmas to me," said Foxton. 

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