January 12 COVID-19 Update

A spokesperson for Ontario Premier Doug Ford confirmed that schools across the province will reopen for in-person learning next Monday.

Last week, the provincial government moved all publicly funded and private schools to remote learning due to a high increase of COVID-19 cases fuelled by the omicron variant. 

Ford noted that the government couldn’t guarantee schools will be fully staffed on Monday with so many teachers expected to be off sick.

On Jan. 6, it was reported that more than 400 staff members at hospitals in Cambridge, Guelph and Kitchener had to be away from their jobs due to COVID-19.

According to a spokesperson for Grand River Hospital, approximately 200 staff members have either tested positive for COVID-19 or are currently isolating due to exposure to the virus. Due to staff shortages, the hospitals have limited surgeries to accommodate only urgent, emergent and cancer cases until Jan. 15 and are offering virtual care when available.

With Ontario being moved into a modified version of Step Two of the reopening roadmap, the City of Kitchener is looking to assist local establishments into outdoor dining options.

In 2020, Kitchener was one of the first cities to expedite the approval process for patios in Ontario. Businesses and those who are interested can visit their website for more information on what options remain available.

The Region of Waterloo was reached an all-time high for people hospitalized due to COVID-19 on Monday with 94 people currently receiving care in hospital, including 13 in intensive care units. 

As of Jan. 11, Waterloo health officials have confirmed 32,149 total cases of COVID-19, and approximately 6,435 cases are considered active. There have been 319 COVID-related deaths in the region, including a young girl from Wellington County under the age of 10 who died on Jan. 3 after testing positive for COVID-19.


Student Journalist of the Year - JHM award winner, Kaitlyn has worked previously as The Cord’s senior news editor. She’s also published articles for VICE and Shameless.