Last Wednesday, the province moved into Step 2 of the reopening plan, and personal care businesses, such as salons, were able to reopen with mandatory face covering policies. However, Waterloo Region health officials suggested that it is too soon to know when the region will be able to re-open as well and it is expected to stay in Step 1 until at least mid-July, as there are still spikes in the COVID-19 Delta variant cases.
At the Region of Waterloo Board of Health meeting last Tuesday, Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang, medical officer of health, noted that the region is seeing more positive change in COVID-19 trends, but that residents should still remain precarious. She added a potential move to Step 2 may be announced to the region during the week.
While Dr. Wang said the region is beginning to show signs of stabilization in COVID-19 case rates, the Delta variant can spread very quickly over the course of a few days and residents should stay close to the region rather than travel outside to areas where COVID-19 restrictions are looser.
Health officials recorded only 12 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, which marked the lowest daily increase since October.
Local clinics are now expanding their business hours to keep up with the high demand for COVID-19 doses. Last week, all vaccine clinics within the region began accepting first dose walk-ins and all residents over 18 years are officially eligible for their second dose.
Approximately 79.5 per cent of adults in the region have received one dose, and more than 43 per cent of residents 18 and older are fully vaccinated.
As of July 7th, Waterloo health officials have confirmed 17,802 total cases of COVID-19, including approximately 272 deaths. Approximately 318 cases are considered active in the region.