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More than 70 per cent of local COVID-19 cases linked to close contact, community spread

Those two transmission types account for 9,741 of the 13,231 cases confirmed in Waterloo Region
COVID-19 wear a mask
File photo

Waterloo Region's Medical Officer of Health was recently asked, "what's the number one way COVID-19 is spreading between people?", and her response is not surprising. 

"It's people still doing things like gathering, not distancing, not wearing masks - at least not consistently," said Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang during Friday's media briefing.

According to the latest numbers from Region of Waterloo Public Health, community spread and close contact have accounted for roughly 74 per cent of total COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic. 

In fact, close contact has led the way - with 5,791 cases, while community transmission is responsible for 3,950 cases. 

Dr. Wang said public health measures are in place for a reason: they help reduce the spread. 

She said local residents have to be even more diligent with variants of concern now present. 

"Nobody sets out to get COVID, and we understand that most of the time, people who have gotten it ... they didn't intend to spread it to others."

While Dr. Wang said it's important to not shame or blame others, she noted, "it's really the basic public health measures that we're seeing in our case and contact measures that aren't being followed."

Dr. Wang said most often when people are breaking the rules and gathering, it's with friends and family. 

She said in some cases, people initially claim they were wearing masks and distancing, "but in fact, when you question them further, they're like 'okay ... not all the time'."

Dr. Wang continued to urge the public to keep up public health practices and abide the stay-at-home order. 

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