On Friday, six new deaths from COVID-19 in the Waterloo region were released.
All new deaths are attributable to residents over the age of 70 living in long-term care homes or retirement homes in Kitchener, including one at Victoria Place Seniors’ Residence and five in long-term care Forest Heights.
Figures from Friday show that 118 residents and 45 staff members tested positive for COVID-19 at Forest Heights, the region’s most affected facility.
Officials there say 23 residents have been transferred out of the facility to create more space and separation for those still inside.
The total number of people who have died from the virus in the region now stands at 45.
According to the update, 24 new confirmed cases were also reported on Friday morning.
This means there are now a total of 604 confirmed cases in the Waterloo region, up from 582 reported on Thursday.
The region now has 216 cases resolved, compared to 199 cases resolved on Thursday.
The number of active outbreaks in long-term care homes and retirement homes has dropped to 10.
“Unfortunately, I expect these parameters to increase in the future,” said Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang, a medical officer of health for the Waterloo region.
She added that some of the new deaths have been confirmed to be linked to the virus through posthumous tests, which she says should reveal more cases and epidemics.
“This is due to the fact that in these contexts, we test deceased people even if their test was previously negative,” said Wang. “I think we are still on the rise in retirement and long-term care homes. “
The outbreak at the Village at University Gates in Waterloo on Thursday was declared over.
To date, 13,519 positive cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Ontario.
There are currently 763 COVID-19 deaths in Ontario, while another 7,087 have recovered.