September 15 COVID-19 Update

After only a week into the new school year, Waterloo Region’s public and Catholic schools have reported more than 10 cases of COVID-19 within their staff and students

Among those schools with reported cases of COVID-19 cases in students are Holy Rosary Catholic School, St. Gabriel, St. Benedict and St. Brigid. A staff member at St. Mary’s high school also tested positive for COVID-19.

Any contacts of these cases have been asked to self-isolate by the Region of Waterloo health unit or school boards.

By Sept. 27, staff working for the Region of Waterloo will be required to disclose their COVID-19 vaccination status. Those who are not vaccinated or do not want to share their status will need to take part in a rapid antigen testing program and undergo education on the benefits of COVID-19 vaccination.

Lee Fairclough, president of St. Mary’s hospital and the Waterloo Region’s hospital lead for COVID-19 response efforts, noted last week that hospitals and health-care facilities are operating at high capacity levels. This is due to the many reports of health-care worker shortages across the country. 

Local healthcare officials are currently working to recruit and retain healthcare workers. However, Fairclough is worried local hospitals may have to start cancelling surgeries to make room for COVID-19 patients, as seen happening in Alberta.

As of Sept. 10, 87 per cent of eligible residents in Waterloo Region have had one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and 80 per cent have been fully vaccinated. 

As of Sept. 15, Waterloo health officials have confirmed 19,272 total cases of COVID-19, including approximately 292 deaths. Approximately 202 cases are considered active in the Region.

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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.