News release from the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit
As of Thursday, December 8, 2022, the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) has moved the region’s current overall COVID-19 Community Risk Level from moderate to high as the virus continues to circulate within the community. This is the second time the risk level has increased since it was launched in September 2022.
“We are seeing a higher level of COVID-19 transmission in Simcoe Muskoka, which means there is a greater risk of getting sick with potential for severe illness,” said Dr. Charles Gardner, SMDHU’s medical officer of health. “We note this in the context of ongoing elevated transmission of influenza as well as respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Given this, we continue to encourage individuals to use more layers of protection, such as increasing frequency of mask use and maintaining physical distance in indoor public settings. Getting your bivalent COVID-19 vaccine booster and your influenza vaccination is also strongly recommended and available across Simcoe Muskoka.”
The COVID-19 Community Risk Level, available on SMDHU’s website, is based on five indicators (local percent positivity of PCR tests, confirmed cases, hospitalizations, institutional outbreaks, and wastewater signals) that are monitored weekly. Together, these indicators make up the current overall COVID-19 risk level in our community as one of the following levels: lower (caution), moderate, high, or very high. Each risk level is explained, and information is provided about personal and situational risks that individuals should consider and what actions they can take to protect themselves and others from spreading and getting severely ill from COVID-19. The more precautions a person takes the better the protection for themselves and others. These actions include:
- Staying up to date with all recommended COVID-19 vaccinations.
- Staying home when sick with any symptoms of COVID-19.
- Wearing a face mask when required and consider wearing a face mask in public based on your personal situation.
The COVID-19 Community Risk Level is updated each Thursday by 2 p.m. Residents are reminded to visit smdhu.org for weekly risk level updates, and to learn more about local COVID-19 transmission and ways to be COVID-safe.