January 5 COVID-19 Update

On Jan. 3rd, Ontario premier Doug Ford announced the province will moving to a modified Step Two of the province’s Roadmap to Reopen plan.

For at least two weeks starting on Jan. 5, schools will be moving to online learning and the province will be temporarily closing indoor dining and gyms.

According to the provincial health experts, the province could be seeing hundreds of thousands of daily COVID-19 cases, and hospitals could end up thousands of beds short.

“If we don’t do everything possible to get this variant under control, the results could be catastrophic. It is a risk I cannot take,” Ford said during the news conference.

For at least two weeks starting on Jan. 4, local hospitals are suspending non-urgent procedures due to an increased demand in COVID-19 care.

Those hospitals impacted by the Ontario Health directive include Cambridge Memorial Hospital, Guelph General Hospital, Grand River Hospital, St. Mary’s General Hospital, North Wellington Health Care and Groves Memories Community Hospital.

Until Jan. 17, the hospitals will provide only urgent, emergent and cancer surgical procedures for patients, as well as maintain emergency departments, inpatient care and essential clinics. 

The cafeteria area of Waterloo Region’s main government building has been temporarily transformed into a COVID-19 vaccination clinic. The transformation’s goal is to get more third booster shots into the arms of residents.

As of Jan. 5, Waterloo health officials have confirmed 27,704 total cases of COVID-19, and approximately 4,319 cases are considered active. There were 48 people in the region’s three hospitals who were infectious with COVID-19, and seven people in the intensive care unit. There have been 313 COVID-related deaths in the region.