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COVID cases down 20% in Simcoe-Muskoka: Health unit

17 new hospitalizations and 5 deaths reported in latest update
2020-07-28 SMDHU offices 3
The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit offices are located on Sperling Drive in north-end Barrie. Raymond Bowe/BarrieToday

COVID cases and hospitalizations continued to decline this week in Simcoe-Muskoka as Ontario-wide trends indicate the latest wave is passed its peak. 

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit confirmed five more deaths and 17 new hospitalizations since the last report on Aug. 4.

The deaths reported today include three men and a woman over 79 years old and a man between 65 and 79 years old. All were Simcoe County residents. They died between July 21 and Aug. 6.

There are 22 area residents currently hospitalized because of COVID-19. 

Based on the latest update, posted Aug. 11, there were 359 new COVID cases confirmed since last week. There were 317 cases reported to the health unit during the week of July 31 and 397 reported during the week of July 24, which is a 20 per cent decrease week-over-week. 

Case counts are underestimated as testing is limited. 

There are more active outbreaks this week than last week with 22 confirmed as of Aug. 11. The current outbreaks include 16 at institutional settings (hospitals, long-term care, and retirement homes), five at congregate settings (shelters and group homes) and one at a community setting (recreational camp). There were 14 active outbreaks on Aug. 4.

Since the start of the pandemic, the local health unit has confirmed 48,635 cases of COVID-19, with 47,603 of those cases recovered and 539 cases ending in death.

Of the deaths reported by the health unit since March 2020, 460 were COVID-19-related, 71 deaths were not related to COVID-19 but the person tested positive, and for eight of them, the cause of death is unknown or pending. 

To date, 86 per cent of the population aged five years old and up are fully vaccinated with two or more doses, and 18 per cent of the region’s total population (including children) is unvaccinated.

According to monitoring of the region’s hospitals by the health unit, 63 per cent of the region’s ICU beds are full and 26 per cent of the ventilator beds are occupied. Acute care occupancy is highest with 87 per cent of the beds in the region currently full.

Wastewater monitoring in Barrie, Orillia, Penetanguishene, and Midland shows COVID-19 virus DNA as present in each of the communities, but there's been no increase or decrease noted in the last week. Sampling from Collingwood indicates an increase in the COVID-19 virus DNA in the community. 

Anyone who has not yet received their COVID-19 vaccination or booster doses is encouraged to do so as soon as they are eligible. Information about eligibility and clinic locations is available at smdhu.org/GetVaccinated.


Erika Engel

About the Author: Erika Engel

Erika regularly covers all things news in Collingwood as a reporter and editor. She has 13 years of experience as a local journalist
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