Select schools throughout Waterloo Region announced they will be closing and moving to online learning due to sharp increases of COVID-19 cases. Kitchener’s Southridge Public School announced they will be closed until January. Currently there are 15 confirmed cases of COVID-19 at the school.
This is the first time a school in Waterloo Region has closed since the return to in-class learning last fall.
This past weekend, five new outbreaks were announced with four being in regional schools. This includes Mary Johnston Public School in Waterloo, Sir Adam Beck Public School in Baden, Saint John Paul II School in Kitchener and Forest Glen Public School in New Hamburg.
According to public health officials, there was an increase in COVID-19 cases throughout November, many of them being unvaccinated people and school-aged children.
The region’s medical officer of health, Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang, noted that while cases are on the rise, she expects to see case rates decline as more children get vaccinated. She said data shows that children mount a good immune response even with one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
More than 12,500 children aged five to 11 in Waterloo Region have had their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. According to Waterloo Public Health, 26.62 per cent of area residents of that age group’s estimated 48,000 have had their initial dose.
As of Dec. 8, Waterloo health officials have confirmed 21,145 total cases of COVID-19, and approximately 282 cases are considered active. There have been 308 COVID-related deaths in the region.