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KITCHENER —
The fifth and sixth cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Waterloo Region.

On Saturday, Public Health provided details on the sixth patient: a 57-year-old man who was tested at St. Mary’s General Hosptial.

His exposure came from contact and travel. He is the spouse of case number two and is currently in home isolation.

Public Health provided more details for the fifth case: a man in his 40s who developed mild respiratory symptoms on March 1 while on a Celebrity Cruise.

The man contacted Public Health for assessment on March 10 and took private transportation to St. Mary’s General Hospital for testing.  He was released from hospital to self-isolate at home and is being monitored by Public Health.

The cruise visited St Croix, Antigua and Barbuda, St Lucia, Grenada, Barbados, St Vincent & The Grenadines, St Kitts and Nevis, according to Public Health.

The cruise returned to Fort Lauderdale on March 6.   Public Health is asking any other passengers to monitor symptoms for 14 days.

“We have the opportunity to slow the spread of virus in the community,” said the region’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang. “These reccomendations reflect the situation around us, although the situation in Waterloo hasn’t changed.

“It is my recommendation that large gatherings of 250 people or more and all international events be postponed or cancelled.”

Wang also reccomends all Waterloo Region residents avoid non-essential travel outside Canada and that anyone who travels abroad and develops symptoms should self-isolate until they’re symptom-free for 24 hours.

Late Thursday night, a fourth case was identified at Grand River Hospital, in a woman in her 50s who had recently travelled to France and the United Kingdom.

She is currently self-isolated at home.

All returning travellers are asked to self-isolate for 14 days. Not sure how to self-isolate? Check out this fact sheet from @PublicHealthON https://t.co/MW3cKASCIZ pic.twitter.com/QHlE1cVVnJ

— Region of Waterloo Public Health (@ROWPublicHealth) March 14, 2020

The region posted an updated list of cases on its website on Friday morning.

One of the previous cases, a man who had recently travelled to Las Vegas, has been hospitalized.

The other two cases, a woman who had travelled to Italy and a woman who took a cruise ship leaving from Puerto Rico, remain in self-isolation at home.

On Thursday, the Ontario government announced it would be keeping schools closed after March Break in response to the virus.

Dozens of institutions, businesses and events in Waterloo Region and around the country have taken measures to stop its spread.

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