SMDHU reports 12 COVID-related deaths over the past week

97 per cent of cases reported in the last week have the marker for Omicron

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) has reported 12 COVID-related deaths over the past week – seven of the 12 were fully vaccinated. Of those who passed away, one was between the ages of 45 and 64, the rest ranged from 65 and 80 or more years of age. 

In a Wednesday media briefing, Dr. Charles Gardner, medical officer of health for SMDHU, said there are already 7,002 COVID cases reported this month so far, compared to 6,536 in December 2021, as a whole.    

Gardner stated that 97 per cent of cases reported in the last week have the marker for Omicron, as the strain has taken over almost all of the transmission happening in Simcoe Muskoka.  

The medical officer also noted when looking at hospitalizations, the unvaccinated are 11 times more likely to be hospitalized, 19 times more likely to be admitted into the ICU, and seven times more likely to pass away, compared to those fully vaccinated.

“Indeed, infections are happening among those who are fully vaccinated, including admissions to hospital in some cases, ICU admissions, and some deaths,” said Gardner.

“But, you’re much less likely to be hospitalized and end up in the intensive care unit or pass away if you’ve been fully immunized, compared with if you are not – it still provides that protection against severe disease.”

SMDHU reported 374 new COVID cases and six new deaths in its Wednesday update.   

The report also stated 30 Simcoe Muskoka residents are currently hospitalized with COVID, and five are in the ICU.   

Of the cases reported, 74 are unvaccinated, five are partially vaccinated, and 226 are fully vaccinated. 

On Wednesday, the province reported 4,132 people hospitalized with COVID. Of those, 589 are in the ICU. There were also 60 more virus-related deaths.

 Banner image – file photo