Another death in Simcoe County as province-wide case count surpasses 400

Region's caseload rose by 13 including six in Barrie

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) confirms the region has lost another life to COVID-19, the first time since early August.

A man in his 80’s from New Tecumseth was being treated at Southlake Regional Health Centre in Newmarket when he succumbed to the virus. He represents the region’s 38th life lost.

This comes as the Simcoe-Muskoka caseload increased by 13. There were six cases in Barrie, two in Bradford, on each in Huntsville, Gravenhurst, Orillia, New Tecumseth, and Innisfil.

data courtesy SMDHU HealthStats page

This recent rise in cases has the SMDHU urging residents to scale back their social circles. “As our social interactions have increased in the summer, so too have our COVID-19 cases, which is worrisome at this time when we are just now returning to school, and for the more vulnerable in our communities,” said Dr. Colin Lee, SMDHU’s associate medical officer of health. “We need people to scale back on their get-togethers/gatherings, and to remember to be cautious with people not in their household, even if they are in their social circle of 10. Social circles are not invincible to COVID-19.”

Meanwhile, Public Health Ontario reported 401 cases of COVID-19 across the province. The biggest contributor to that one-day total is Toronto, with 130 cases reported there. Peel and Ottawa remain hot spots as well, with 82 and 61 cases respectively.

The province’s epidemic curve indicates a rise in cases since mid-August, courtesy Public Health Ontario

A rollback on gathering sizes in these hot spot areas took effect at midnight Friday morning as a result of these ballooning numbers, as health officials indicate the rise is due to private social gatherings like parties or weddings. Indoor gatherings within Toronto, Peel, and Ottawa are capped at 10 people, while outdoor gatherings can see no more than 25.