WATERLOO REGION — The province reported a record 4,456 new cases on Saturday, as well as 2,617 resolved cases and 21 deaths.
At least 700 new vaccination locations at pharmacies are being added across the province where the AstraZeneca vaccine will be available to people over 55-years-old, the province announced on Sunday.
Waterloo Region will have 41 new locations, and Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph will have 23. COVID-19 pharmacy vaccine locations can be viewed at covid-19.ontario.ca/vaccine-locations
COVID-19 cases in Waterloo Region have doubled over the last 18 days as public health reported 131 new cases over the weekend. This brings the third wave to a height last seen in late January during a previous stay-at-home order in the second wave.
The region’s Vaccine Distribution Task Force announced a technical difficulty with Telus this weekend.
The region said it confirmed on Friday that although text messages about booking appointments had been sent, Telus had been blocking them from reaching people due to the perceived high volume of texts.
Anyone with a Telus service provider who preregistered and opted to receive communication from the Region via text, and has not heard from the region, is asked to register again.
No new deaths were reported in Waterloo Region on the weekend. While active cases have been rising, hospitalizations and outbreaks are reported as being relatively stable, with 18 people in hospital including four in intensive care.
Variants strains of COVID-19, deemed more infectious and more dangerous, are fuelling the third wave of the pandemic. The latest tests show that variants of concern now account for more than half of the new cases in the region.
The total number of variant cases has more than doubled over 17 days, reaching 751 cases by Saturday. This includes 39 cases of the variant first detected in the U.K.
The percentage of COVID tests that are positive is currently reported at 4.6 per cent, a level also not seen since late January.
The region currently has a total of 475 active COVID-19 cases.
With files from Leah Gerber and Jeff Outhit
Leah Gerber, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Waterloo Region Record