Kitchener-Waterloo

Places where people with coronavirus symptoms visited removed from Waterloo region's website

Region of Waterloo Public Health says it will no longer share information on public places where people may have been exposed to coronavirus in Waterloo region.

What you need to know about COVID-19 in Waterloo region on March 24

The University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University are planning to take summer courses online. As well, the University of Waterloo says most buildings on campus will be locked as of 4:30 p.m. Tuesday. That includes the Dana Porter Library, pictured here. (Kate Bueckert/CBC)

Places where people were potentially exposed to coronavirus in Waterloo region will no longer be listed on a website operated by Region of Waterloo Public Health.

On Wednesday morning, acting medical officer of health Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang apologized to two locations that appeared on the list on Tuesday. That list was removed from the region's website later in the day.

"The goal was to try an keep our community informed," Wang said, but because the situation evolved rapidly in the past 48 hours, she added, "It no longer makes sense to try to maintain such a page."

Wang said listing locations only singles out businesses and is not helpful to residents because "the risk of acquiring COVID-19 is present across the region."

The region announced on Monday that it will not be providing daily updates on case numbers anymore. On Monday, the region had 32 confirmed and presumptive cases of the coronavirus.

Guelph reports first cases, hospital staff test positive

Guelph reported its first three cases of COVID-19. Early Tuesday, Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health said a man in his 80s, a patient at St. Joseph's Health Centre in Guelph, had tested positive.The man is stable condition in one of centre's post-acute units tested positive for the coronavirus. 

David Wormald, president of St. Joseph's Health Centre Guelph, called the news "concerning." He said the care facility has procedures in place to control and prevent infections.

The hospital says it is actively screening people who enter the facility, restricting visitors including volunteers and it has temporarily closed outpatient and ambulatory programs.

Later on Tuesday, public health confirmed two health-care workers at Guelph General Hospital have tested positive for COVID-19. The two employees do not live in the area covered by the Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health unit, so the cases will be counted by their home public health unit.

"One was at home when symptoms developed. The other stopped working immediately when feeling ill. Both are now self-isolating at home," the hospital said in a media release.

Universities move summer courses online

The University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University are both planning to hold all summer classes online and the new semester will begin a week later than initially planned.

The new term will begin on May 11, both schools said in media releases.

The Laurier release, which calls the next term "sprummer" for spring and summer, said the term often sees a "high proportion of Laurier-UW double-degree students." That's why the adjusted sprummer academic dates are designed to match Waterloo's dates, said the school. 

The University of Waterloo said most campus buildings will be locked as of 4:30 p.m. Tuesday and only limited buildings will be open. The Student Life Centre will remain open.

"Researchers are asked to only maintain research on-campus if it is deemed critical research," the university said. "Critical research includes lab activities that, if disrupted, would result in serious loss of research data, material or equipment."

People await results

Public health officials in Ontario confirmed 85 new cases of COVID-19 in the province on Tuesday, bringing the provincial tally to 588.

But Ontario currently has a backlog of more than 8,400 tests, with people waiting at least four days between test and result. Region of Waterloo Public Health says on its website it is taking up to five days to receive test results.

The number of people across the province awaiting results continues to rise, as seen in the graph below.

Clarifications

  • This story has been updated to reflect new information from Region of Waterloo Public Health presented during a media briefing on Wednesday, March 25 regarding listing locations where people with COVID-19 may have visited in the community.
    Mar 25, 2020 12:11 PM ET

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