5 COVID-19 cases have now screened positive for P1 variant, public health reports

The number of COVID-19 cases that have screened positive for the P1 variant first detected in Brazil has risen to five, public health reported Wednesday. The region saw 70 new cases with 71 people in hospital.

71 people in hospital, 33 people in ICU

Region of Waterloo Public Health reported 70 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

The number of COVID-19 cases that have screened positive for the P1 variant first detected in Brazil rose to five in the region, public health reported Wednesday.

A total of 1,732 cases have tested positive for a variant of concern. Of those, 46 are the B117 variant first detected in the U.K. and one is the B1351 variant first found in South Africa. The remaining 1,680 require further testing.

Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang, the region's medical officer of health, says the rise in cases with the P1 variant is not a surprise.

"Once a variant is detected, it is not unexpected to see additional cases identified. Variants of concern are the predominant strains in both Waterloo region and across Ontario," Wang said in an emailed statement Wednesday.

"It is imperative for Waterloo region residents to continue practicing the recommended public health measures with the utmost vigilance. This includes staying at home unless you need to go out for essential purposes and avoiding gathering with others outside of your household, to slow the spread of COVID-19, including its variants."

70 new cases

The region saw 70 new cases, bringing the total in April to 2,119 and since March 2020 to 14,069.

There were 71 people in the region's hospitals with 33 people in the intensive care units.

There were 583 active cases, a drop from 641 reported on Tuesday.

There was also one new death of a person with the illness reported on Wednesday — a man in his 80s. It brings the total number of COVID-related deaths in the region to 252.

Ontario reported another 3,480 cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday.

29 active outbreaks

There were 29 active outbreaks in the region with two at long-term care homes. There are three cases at each home in people who work there.

There are 22 outbreaks in workplaces:

  • Four in retail stores: One with 10 cases, one with six cases and two with two cases each.
  • Three at manufacturers: One with 12 cases, one with three cases and one with two cases.
  • Three at construction workplaces: One with five cases, one with four cases and one with two cases.
  • Three at a trades workplace: One with three cases, two with two cases.
  • Two at food processors: One with 23 cases, one with seven cases.
  • Two at offices: One with five cases, one with two cases.
  • Two at automobile sales and service businesses: One with four cases, one with three cases.
  • One at Waterloo Regional Police Service with five cases.
  • One at a financial institution with four cases.
  • One at a food and beverage service business with three cases.

The other outbreaks were:

  • Two at congregate settings, both with a single case at each.
  • One at Willowbrae Academy Cambridge with six cases.
  • One at St. Mary's General Hospital. The number of cases was not reported.
  • One in a Waterloo Region District School Board program with four cases.


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