Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit confirms eight new COVID-19 cases and an additional death

Health Unit confirms Muskoka's first COVID-19 case

A woman in her 70s is Simcoe-Muskoka’s latest victim of COVID-19.

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit has confirmed the woman passed away at Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital Wednesday evening, having contracted COVID-19 from community contact. She was the SMDHU’s 12th reported case, and the health unit’s third reported fatality.

This announcement from the Health Unit comes as it confirms eight new cases to its caseload, bringing the total to 29. Of these eight new cases, the Health Unit says Muskoka has its first lab-confirmed case; a man in his 20s who had recently returned from Austria. In most cases, the patients have been sent home to recover in self-isolation.

This coming week is crutial in the fight against COVID-19, with SMDHU Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Charles Gardner telling Barrie 360 we must distance ourselves right now. “We are transitioning from this being primarily travel-related,” said Dr. Gardner, “but we’re also seeing now community-acquired cases. That is where the real danger lies, if you start to get more and more, and I believe we will, get more and more transmission happening in the community, then you have the potential for many more new cases, and therefore there’s a lot more opportunity for any of us to encounter this virus in the community.”

“Often, you won’t be able to tell from symptoms whether you are being exposed to somebody who is shedding the virus. Hence the need, right now, for people to exercise physical distancing. And the more we can do that now, the better, while it is still relatively contained.” Gardner concluded.