Waterloo Public Health reported three COVID-19-related deaths on Wednesday, raising the death toll in the area to 265.

“Today we are reporting three deaths in our community related to COVID-19,” Medical Officer of Health Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang stated.

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“The individuals were a male in his 70s, a female in her 80s, and a female in her 90s. I wish to express my deep sympathy to the family and loved ones of each individual.”

The agency did not say whether any of the victims had been vaccinated.

There have now been nine COVID-19-related deaths in the region this month, including a fully-vaccinated woman in her 90s who was a resident at The Village of Winston Park.

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That home is currently in an outbreak and on Thursday, Waterloo Public Health reported four new outbreaks including two at long-term-care homes in Kitchener.

One is at the Highland Place Retirement Residence where a staff member and a resident have tested positive while the other is at the Zora Srpski Dom where two residents have tested positive.

There are now 22 active COVID-19 outbreaks in Waterloo Region after the area was down to as few as four on June 13.

Waterloo Public Health also reported another 54 positive tests for COVID-19 on Wednesday, raising the total number of cases to 17,584.

This drops the rolling seven-day average number of new cases to 54.

A whopping 110 people were also cleared of the virus, pushing the total number of resolved cases to 16,885.

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This leaves the area with 416 active cases, almost 100 fewer than what was reported last Wednesday.

There are still 55 people in area hospitals as a result of COVID-19 including 24 patients who are in intensive care units.

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On the other end of the spectrum, vaccination rates continue to climb quickly as the vaccine distribution task force says there have now been 548,871, at least 9,746 more than a day earlier.

A vast majority of those vaccinations continue to be people receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine as that total now stands at 160,202, 8,979 more than Wednesday.

A total of 66.38 per cent of the overall population has now received at least one dose of a vaccine, while 27.2 per cent of area residents are fully vaccinated.

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Ontario reports under 200 new COVID-19 cases for 1st time since mid-September

Elsewhere, Ontario reported 184 new COVID-19 cases, marking the first time the case count is below 200 in nearly 10 months.

The provincial case total now stands at 544,897 as the province, with the exception of Waterloo Region, enters Step 2 in the reopening plan.

The last time daily cases dipped below 200 was on Sept. 10 when 170 new cases were reported.

According to Wednesday’s report, 46 cases were recorded in Waterloo Region, 19 in Grey Bruce, 17 each in both Toronto and Hamilton and 16 in Peel Region.

All other local public health units reported fewer than 15 new cases in the provincial report.

The region and province collect their stats at different times in the day which can lead to differing totals for the area.

The death toll in the province has risen to 9,168 as 14 more deaths were recorded.

–With files from Global News’ Gabby Rodrigues

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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