Stay-at-home orders extended to Feb. 16 for Waterloo region, Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph
Waterloo region reports 39 COVID-19 cases Monday, Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph adds 65 over weekend
Stay-at-home orders in Waterloo region and in Guelph, Wellington County and Dufferin County will continue until Feb. 16, the province announced Monday.
"Staying home is saving lives," Premier Doug Ford said in a press conference Monday afternoon. "But ... we're not clear of this storm yet."
Ford noted with variants of the virus circulating and hospitalizations still high, some strict measures need to remain in place.
Region of Waterloo Public Health and Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health are among 28 health units expected to have the orders lifted on Feb. 16. The province noted any final decisions of the stay-at-home orders will be subject to review at that time.
In the coming weeks, the province will also move regions back into the colour-coded system, which includes the green, yellow, orange, red and grey "lockdown" stages.
Waterloo region may enter the "grey" stage on Feb. 16, and if that's the case, regional Chair Karen Redman says she's pleased more stores will be able to open.
"Allowing all retail to be open under grey is a move towards a more fair approach," Redman said in an emailed statement on Monday.
She also cautioned Feb. 16 will not bring a return to normal in the region.
"We are keenly aware that if public health and workplace safety measures are not followed — particularly while there is a spread of new, more transmissible variants, before significant vaccination coverage has been achieved — it could lead to a third wave and further closures or shutdown," she said.
Dr. Wang 'supportive' of gradual approach
Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang, the region's medical officer of health, said in a statement Monday she's "supportive of a gradual approach to lifting current restrictions."
"In the coming days we expect to learn more about which level of the province's framework Waterloo region will be placed in," she added. "All residents are reminded to continue to follow public health measures, they are our best protection against the spread of COVID-19, including new variants."
Dr. Nicola Mercer, the medical officer of health for Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health, said she's "encouraged by the progress" being made in the community as well as across the province.
"But, we all must remember, the progress we made on the virus in the last month has been hard won. The stay-at-home order asked us to make a big trade off on many fronts to bring our cases under control," she said. "As we begin to open up, we do so with the knowledge that new variants of COVID-19 keep our risk high."
39 new cases in Waterloo region
Region of Waterloo Public Health reported 39 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday. That brings the total number of cases in February to 382 and since March 2020 to 9,814. Of those, 9,167 have been marked as resolved.
There were 434 active cases reported in the region Monday with 32 people in hospital and 12 of those people in the intensive care unit.
There were no new deaths related to the virus reported Monday, keeping the total number of COVID-related deaths in the region to 209.
Ontario reported 1,265 cases of COVID-19 Monday morning.
32 active outbreaks
There are 32 active outbreaks in Waterloo region including 19 in long-term care and retirement homes.
The other outbreaks include:
- Five in congregate settings: One with 68 cases spread over multiple locations, one with eight cases and three with a single case each.
- Two at St. Mary's General Hospital (4th floor and 5th floor).
- One at Conestoga Meats where there have been 163 cases.
- One at a manufacturing workplace with 37 cases.
- One at a trades business with seven cases.
- One at a Waterloo Catholic District School Board program with six cases.
- One at a warehouse with two cases.
- One at an automobile sales and service workplace with two cases.
Not listed on the region's dashboard is also a new outbreak at Cambridge Memorial Hospital which has been retrospectively tied to Jan. 25.
"Cleaning and disinfection of the environment has been enhanced in this area, and precautions have been implemented for staff and patients," the hospital says.
65 new cases in Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph
Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health reported 65 new cases on Monday morning. That number includes cases reported Friday to Sunday.
There are 217 active cases throughout the communities the health unit covers and 10 people are in hospital.
There have been a total of 4,379 cases with 4,076 marked as resolved. There have been 86 deaths linked to the virus in Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph.