A fully vaccinated woman in her nineties who lived at a Kitchener, Ont., long-term care home has died after contracting COVID-19, officials reported Sunday.
The woman lived at the Village of Winston Park, where there is currently an outbreak of the virus. There are nine cases at the home — four among staff and five among residents. This is the first death during this most recent outbreak.
Schlegel Villages, which runs the home, posted on its website that the woman had "only shown mild symptoms but, as we have seen through the course of the pandemic, the virus can change quickly."
Waterloo Region, which includes Kitchener, has seen a high number of cases in the past week. Health officials say the highly transmissible delta variant is playing a role in the spread of the virus, although it can take weeks to confirm that a variant of concern is specifically the delta variant. The delta variant, also known as B1617, is the variant first detected in India.
"At this time, there is no verification as to whether or not one of the variants of concern was involved, but testing is underway," Schlegel Villages said on its website.
"Our other Villages are all stable at this time and we remain hopeful that others affected will recover soon, and safely."
Death rare in immunized people
Dr. Rabia Bana, an associate medical officer of health for the Region of Waterloo, expressed sympathy for the woman's family and friends.
"This person's death is a tragic reminder of the toll the COVID-19 pandemic is taking on families and the community," Bana said in a news release.
"Death is a very rare outcome in fully immunized individuals. I encourage everyone in Waterloo Region to remain vigilant."
Public health officials say they are working with the long-term care home to manage the outbreak and prevent further spread of the virus.
On Sunday, Ontario reported 318 new COVID-19 cases, including 51 in Waterloo Region, 49 in Peel Region, 45 in Toronto, 26 in Ottawa and 20 in Hamilton.
The province has offered to send additional doses of COVID-19 vaccine to Waterloo Region, as well as two mobile vaccination teams that are expected to arrive within the next week.