More people being tested at COVID-19 assessment centres in Simcoe Muskoka

Health Unit encourages people to get outside and enjoy the warm weather but practice physical distancing

The number of tests for COVID-19 at Simcoe Muskoka assessment centres jumped to 430 on Monday, a dramatic jump from the average daily of between 120 and 130, a three to four fold increase.

Dr. Charles Gardner, the local medical officer of health, said this is the result of the province’s decision to urge residents to be tested for COVID-19 even if they are not showing symptoms but may have been exposed to the virus.

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There have been 7,637 tests for COVID-19 at the Simcoe Muskoka assessment centres.

As of Tuesday, there are 457 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Simcoe Muskoka, of which 350 cases or 77 per cent are considered recover.

The number of deaths remains at 36.

An outbreak at the Collingwood Nursing Home has ended, which leaves just two institutions still with outbreaks–Owen Hill Care Community in Barrie and Bayview Retirement Home in Waubaushene, and Dr. Gardner said both those outbreaks are closed to being considered over.

Dr. Gardner urged people to continue to physical distance while they take advantage of the warmer weather. He admitted seeing several incidents over the last few days where people had gathered with others without practicing physical distance.