Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit confirms nine new cases of COVID-19 Wednesday, bringing local caseload to 21

Two contracted the disease through close contact, four through travel, two under investigation

There are nine new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the area served by the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU), bringing the local caseload to 21.

Among the new cases are three people in their 50s and 60s who had recently returned from Austria, and a 30-something woman just back from Italy. A man in his 40s and one in his 20s both contracted COVID-19 through close contact, according to the SMDHU, while two remain under investigation. Not included in the chart below is information regarding Muskoka’s first lab-confirmed case, the SMDHU’s 21st.

Two of the eight new cases have been hospitalized, the rest are at home in self-isolation as they recover.

Related: Public Health Ontario updating COVID-19 caseload daily

Despite the rise in cases both locally and provincially, it should not serve as an indication that physical distancing is ineffective. “The cases you see today had their exposures at least two weeks ago, probably more,” said SMDHU Medical Officer of Health Dr. Charles Gardner, “what we do right now is going to bear fruit in terms of reduced cases going forward in time, beyond the next two weeks. We’ve got to put in the effort now to make that benefit down the road.”