2 new coronavirus deaths in Waterloo Region, total reaches 19 and 399 cases

Waterloo Region reported 16 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Friday and two additional deaths, bringing the total to 399 cases in the area.

The region’s death toll has risen to 19.

The latest victims were residents of Kitchener’s Forest Heights Long-Term Care Home, which has now seen five deaths and 92 confirmed cases since a COVID-19 outbreak was declared at the facility on April 1.

The latest two deaths come after one death was reported at Forest Heights on Thursday.

Public health has declared 14 outbreaks in Waterloo Region with 12 deaths now being connected to long-term care or retirement homes.

Along with five deaths at Forest Heights, another five have been reported at Highview Residences in Kitchener along with one each at Lanark Heights Long-Term Care and The Village at University Gates.

Ontario reported the highest single-day increase on Friday in both cases and deaths in the province. As of 10:30 a.m., the province was reporting 9,525 cases with 478 deaths.

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

Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are legally obligated to self-isolate for 14 days, beginning March 26, in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others. Some provinces and territories have also implemented additional recommendations or enforcement measures to ensure those returning to the area self-isolate.

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.

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