February 16 COVID-19 Update

The Chief Medical Officer of Health, is cautiously and gradually easing public health measures sooner, with Ontario moving to the next phase of reopening on Feb. 17. Some of the measures being eased are the limits of people in social gatherings to 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors and removing capacity limits in selected indoor public settings.

Premier Doug Ford also announced that Ontario will end COVID proof of vaccination on Mar. 1 but the mask mandate remains in place with no end date in sight. 

On Feb. 28, as COVID-19 cases decline, Canada will ease entry for fully vaccinated international travelers allowing a rapid antigen test instead of a molecular one. Antigen tests are cheaper than a molecular test and can provide results within minutes. The new measures were announced by federal government ministers.

Youth aged 12 to 17 in Waterloo Region are now eligible to get their booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine starting on Friday. Youth who have already received their two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine can get their third dose 168 days (about six months) after their second dose.

As of Feb. 15, the Waterloo Region COVID-19 data shows hospitalizations rose to 79, including 19 in local intensive care units. The Region of Waterloo Public Health reported two people with COVID-19 died over the weekend.

Waterloo health officials have confirmed that approximately 905 cases are considered active, including 26 active outbreaks. There have been 377 COVID-related deaths in the region.