COVID-19 case rates in Waterloo region stable, but medical officer expects to see them rise

The region's medical officer of health Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang says she anticipates COVID-19 case rates will go up in the coming weeks as people move indoors for social gatherings, but she says if people continue to follow public health precautions, things shouldn't get out of hand.

'We must stay cautious, never take our gains for granted and never underestimate this virus': Dr. Wang

Iman Dominguz, 24, gets a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a one-day pop-up clinic in the Eaton Centre mall, in Toronto, on July 27, 2021. Waterloo region's medical officer of health is urging anyone eligible to get their vaccine to do it as soon as possible. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

Local COVID-19 case trends remain relatively stable, says the region's medical officer of health.

But Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang says she expects cases will go up in the weeks to come.

"We should not be surprised if cases rise. We will have approximately 160,000 residents who have not been, or are not yet eligible to be, vaccinated," Wang said Friday during a media briefing.

She urged people who are not yet vaccinated but who are eligible to get their COVID-19 vaccine, and she also encouraged workplaces to come up with a vaccine plan. That comes as the region reports six cases at Junior's Bar and Grill in Cambridge where at least four of the cases were in unvaccinated staff members.

"Vaccination significantly reduces the risk of infection," Wang said. "It's an important step that employers can put in place, a vaccination policy for their employees, to better protect employees and patrons."

Wang said as more restrictions are lifted by the province, and people hold social gatherings indoors, the risk of spreading COVID-19 rises. She said people will need to continue to follow public health guidance for the months to come, including wearing a mask, washing hands frequently, staying in well-ventilated areas and getting the vaccine as soon as they can.

"We must stay cautious, never take our gains for granted and never underestimate this virus," Wang said.

26 new cases

The region saw a jump in new cases on Friday. Earlier this week, cases were in the single digits. On Friday, 26 new cases were reported.

There were 120 active cases in the region and 12 people infectious with the virus in the region's three hospitals.

Seven outbreaks were reported on the region's dashboard:

  • Cornerstone Christian School in Wellesley Township had seven cases over multiple cohorts.
  • Breslau Public School had three cases.
  • Conestogo Public School had two cases over multiple cohorts.
  • Galt Collegiate Institute in Cambridge had two cases.
  • A construction workplace had two cases.
  • A home child care had two cases.
  • Junior's Sportsbar and Grill had six cases.

The region's vaccination dashboard showed 87.48 per cent of people eligible to get the vaccine have both doses while 90.9 per cent have one dose.


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