Changes are being made in the reporting of Covid-19 cases, as the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) will no longer break down the numbers by municipality.
In a Wednesday media briefing, Dr. Charles Gardner, medical officer of health for SMDHU, said the current reporting is no longer a valid representation because only certain high-risk groups are eligible for testing.
“The issue is we don’t think we have reliable data now to be able to operate at that level,” Gardner said.
The medical officer did note, however, there will still be a form of distinction made.
“We will be continuing to provide information about Muskoka versus Simcoe data, but not taking it down to a lower-tier level,” Gardner stated.
SMDHU reported 300 new COVID-19 cases and four deaths in its Wednesday update.
Of the cases reported, 179 are fully vaccinated, eight are partially vaccinated, and 52 are unvaccinated.
The release stated 31 Simcoe Muskoka residents are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, and seven are in the ICU.
The health unit also reported a total of six deaths in the last week – all were from Simcoe County.
In contrast, the province reported 3,448 hospitalizations due to COVID-19, on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott released an initiative to deploy internationally trained nurses to the province to help with staffing shortages and absenteeism in the health care system.
During Dr. Gardner’s talk on Wednesday, he was asked if there was any indication that Simcoe Muskoka could access these internationally educated nursing staff to help with the demand locally.
“There is a provincial means for retired and unemployed health care workers to come forward to make themselves available to assist with health care – including with our vaccination clinics,” said Gardner.
“And we are looking at that as a potential source for recruitment of people to help out in our clinics. But beyond that, I don’t have good information about international graduates.”
Banner image – file photo