Five new deaths from COVID-19 in Simcoe Muskoka, all victims are seniors

Chief Medical Officer of Health said local caseloads are on a plateau and are not declining

There have been an additional 20 cases of COVID-19 in Simcoe Muskoka since the last update from the local health unit on Friday, which brings the total caseload to 379. There were five new deaths for a total of 30; nine individuals are in hospital, a drop of two; and there have been 203 recoveries.

Dr. Charles Gardner, Simcoe Muskoka Medical Officer of Health, said three of the new deaths are individuals of long-term care retirement homes, a man in his 90s at Bradford Valley, where the virus has killed 11 residents, and a man in his 80s and a woman in her 70s who lived at Owen Hill Care Community in Barrie. The other victims are a man in his 70s from New Tecumseth who died at the Newmarket hospital and a woman in her 80s from Clearview who passed away at the Collingwood hospital.

Gardner said COVID-19 cases are not declining in Simcoe Muskoka and said there has been a slight upward trend over the last few weeks, which is the wrong direction.

“We’re still on a plateau. We’re not out of the woods by any imagination.”

As more businesses reopen, Gardner said there is risk of transmission and people need to be very careful when they go out and be selective.

“I am concerned. In no way will opening up businesses help us. This may not bring down our numbers and will be a further challenge. There is counter pressure to open. We need to watch closely what happens.