Simcoe-Muskoka exceeds 1,000 COVID-19 cases to date, vast majority recovered

Forty-two lives lost to date

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) announced 19 new cases of COVID-19 in the region on Thursday, which bumped the to-date caseload above the 1,000 mark.

Since the onset of the pandemic in March, the SMDHU has confirmed 1,010 cases of COVID-19. Of those, 864 people have recovered, while 41 have died. As of Friday, there were 100 active cases throughout Simcoe and Muskoka.

The majority of the 1,010 cases seen in the region have been among those between the ages of 18 and 34, with 324 cases reported to date. There were 274 people between the ages of 45 and 64 among that 1,010, followed by 126 people between the ages of 35 and 44. Those between the ages of 65 and 79 made up 119 cases to date. There were 90 people over the age of 80 infected with COVID since recordkeeping began in March, while this age group also saw the most deaths, with 26 lives lost to date.

The vast majority of the SMDHU’s caseload to date stemmed from Barrie, followed by Bradford-West Gwillimbury, with New Tecumseth rounding out the top three. Barrie has seen the most lives lost since March, at 14.

To date, there have been 31 outbreaks declared in Simcoe County or Muskoka, while 25 have since been declared over. There have been 27 deaths at Long-Term Care homes and retirement homes in the region.

While the region’s caseload continues to grow, the SMDHU reports the local reproductive number has declined. It fell from 1.72 in late September to 1.01 at the beginning of October. The reproductive number, or R(t), is used to determine how contagious an infectious disease is. If the R(t) is above one, it indicates each existing infection is causing more infections. Anything at or below one is considered a good sign in a pandemic.

The SMDHU says the percent positivity rate in Simcoe is 0.5% compared to 0.3% in Muskoka. A low percent positivity rate indicates the outbreak is under control, as more tests are yielding fewer positive results. The province’s percent positivity rate as of Thursday is 2.1