Local health officials eyeing second wave of COVID-19 with seven more cases confirmed Thursday

Five more cases reported in Barrie Thursday, one each in Innisfil and Collingwood

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit’s medical officer of health says it is apparent we’re in the early days of a second wave of COVID-19.

“I think that that is a reasonable conclusion to draw that we are in a second wave. How big that wave becomes has yet to be seen,” said Dr. Charles Gardner Thursday afternoon. “We need to do all that we can now to flatten this curve again. But this is certainly bigger than the very small surges that we saw earlier in the summer.”

graph courtesy SMDHU

Dr. Gardner says this second wave is impacting the population differently than the first go-around several months ago. “We’re overwhelmingly seeing this being younger people, those under the age of 35,” he said. “In the first wave, a very high proportion of the cases were those in their 60s or 70s, or 80s. And there was a large number of outbreaks in long-term care facilities with large numbers of cases.”

The median age of all cases in Simcoe and Muskoka is 30 years since the beginning of July, compared to that of 48 from April to June.

“The concern I would have is that doesn’t stay that way; that there’s a potential for transmission in households, to older individuals, or transmission into long-term care facilities, again, with outbreaks among those who are most vulnerable in our society,” continued Gardner. “I’m concerned about this being a gateway to transmission to those who are much more vulnerable.”

Thursday’s announcement of seven cases of COVID from the SMDHU included five in Barrie and one each in Collingwood and Innisfil.