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Health unit reports 3 more COVID deaths

37 people from the region are hospitalized because of COVID-19
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

Three more people from the region have died after contracting COVID-19 and nine more people have been hospitalized, according to the latest update by the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit. 

Among the latest victims are a man and a woman between 65 and 79 years old, and a woman over 79 years old. All three were Simcoe County residents. They died between May 12 and 14. 

The health unit has reported 11 COVID deaths in May. 

There are 37 people from the region hospitalized because of COVID-19. 

Testing has captured 117 new COVID cases in the region since the last update on May 16. Because testing is not available to everyone, case counts are underestimated. 

Since the start of the pandemic, the local health unit has confirmed 45,085 cases of COVID-19 with 43,867 of those cases recovered and 485 cases ending in death. 

Of the deaths reported by the health unit since March 2020, 421 were COVID-related, 53 deaths were not related to COVID-19 but the person tested positive, and for 11 of them, the cause of death is unknown or pending. 

To date, 83 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.

There are 17 active outbreaks in Simcoe-Muskoka, down from 22 outbreaks on May 11. The current active outbreaks include 13 in institutional settings (hospitals, long-term care, retirement homes), three in congregate settings (group homes, shelters), and one in an educational setting (child care).

A list of outbreaks is available on the health unit website here.

According to monitoring of the region's hospitals by the health unit, about 68 per cent of the region's ICU beds are full and about 39 per cent of the ventilator beds are occupied. Acute care occupancy is highest with 95.5 per cent of the beds in the region currently full. 

Here's a look at the Ontario COVID update for May 18.