BARRIE, ONT. -- The daily COVID-19 case count dropped across Simcoe Muskoka on Thursday, but the weekly average remains higher than usual.

The health unit lists eight new cases in the last 24 hours, including two children under 17.

Simcoe Muskoka's health unit reports most of the new infections are from close contact with a positive case in the community.

With over 30 cases in the last two days, the region now sits at 89 so far this week.

Dr. Michael Lisi, chief of staff at Collingwood General and Marine Hospital, says the trend is worrying.

"This is extremely concerning. This is the most critical time for this pandemic. As a region, we all need to collectively pull together and make sacrifices so that we don't suffer in the end," Lisi says.

Lisi says the number of hospitalizations and the death rate will increase dramatically if the community doesn't break the virus's current transmission rate.