Coronavirus: 26 new cases of COVID-19 reported in Waterloo Region

WATCH ABOVE: Answering your questions about coronavirus

There are now 58 people in Waterloo Region who are believed to have contracted COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, according to Waterloo Public Health.

The agency updated its list on Wednesday morning and it has grown by 26 since it was last updated on Monday.

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Three of the new cases are people under the age of 20, the health unit says.

During a media briefing on Wednesday morning, Waterloo Region’s acting medical officer of health Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang would not say if they were teenagers or children.

She said the list of new cases includes two more people connected to St. Mary’s High School in Kitchener.

One of the first cases in the region was connected to the high school, and Wang said that one of the new cases was not connected to that one.

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“There is no clear link with one of the two,” Wang said. “And for the other one, it’s difficult to be certain whether it was due to transmission from the first case or not.”

She said letters were being sent to people connected to the high school warning of low-risk exposure.

“It will be the last set of letters we will be sending out,” she noted, adding that with schools closed and the number of cases in Waterloo region, the potential risk of exposure was the same for all members of the community at this point.

Thirteen of those newly listed acquired the disease through close contact or the community while the remainder have been listed by Public Health as pending which would indicate they are not sure where it was obtained.

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Eleven people are currently in area hospitals although the initial case has returned home, according to Public Health. The status of a handful of cases has been listed as pending.

Wang said there have 1,231 tests conducted in the region with 779 being confirmed negative.

“We are awaiting test results on 403 individual and public health is monitoring 461 people,” she explained.

Ontario reported another 100 COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, bringing the provincial total to 688.

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are asked to self-isolate for 14 days in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others.

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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