Figures released by the Waterloo Region of Public Health on Tuesday showed that there have been a total of 1,257 presumptive or confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Region of Waterloo since the first case was reported on March 5. Of these, 84% of the cases were marked as resolved.
There have been a total of 30,516 tests performed. More than half of these tests have been since last month. On May 22, the region had 14,707 tests done, which represents an increase of 15,809 tests.
The region has seen 115 people die from the new coronavirus. This number has remained stable since June 3.
Drive-thru clinic has limited capacity
Public health does not conduct COVID-19 test, but obtains test information from partners, which includes local hospitals.
Wang said testing centers, including the steering wheel of one operated by the Grand River Hospital in Kitchener, have seen large spikes in the number of people seeking tests. This could be in part because people who want to visit family in long term care need to be tested.
Cheryl Evans, director of communications and advocacy for the Grand River Hospital, said that employees estimate that there would be between 300 and 350 people at the drive thru screening clinic on a daily basis, where there is no appointment required for a test.
“In reality, we average about 400 tests a day, with one day peaking at 488,” said Evans.
There is limited space for the drive-thru clinic, which is located at 137 Glasgow Street in the Catalyst137 parking lot, and it may be closed due to weather conditions, as seen on Tuesday. But Evans says the hospital is looking for solutions to move more people through, including, possibly, adding more staff.
In the meantime, Evans says they “encourage citizens to look at them for options. [and] choose a clinical trial that works best for them. “
Wash your hands, wear a mask
With the rate of positive cases declining, Wang said she knows people will use it as an excuse for not following public health guides, such as keeping a distance of at least two meters, wearing a mask on transit, and when removal is not possible and wash your hands regularly.
Wearing a mask is not mandatory in the Waterloo region, but Wang has not recommended it for anyone who can.
Wang adds if the population has not followed these guidelines, new number cases could increase rapidly.
“The fact that we still have cases that are being caught by tests shows that we still have the community circulating this virus,” said Wang, noting until there is an effective vaccine, people need to continue following the measurements.
“We are in a much better state than we were two months ago, and so people may somehow feel that they do not need to follow public health measures, but we must continue to follow it, especially as we open the economy and lift the restrictions. “