COVID-19 cases surge across Simcoe Muskoka with 42 new infections
BARRIE, ONT. -- Simcoe Muskoka's COVID-19 infection rates hit a new weekly high with 201 cases since Sunday.
The health unit added 42 positive cases on Thursday, most of which are in Barrie, Innisfil, Orillia and New Tecumseth. The remaining cases are in Bradford, Ramara, Springwater, Adjala-Tosorontio and Severn. Three locations are pending.
The region has had 2,218 positive diagnoses since the start of the pandemic, with 1,900 recoveries.
Thirteen people are in the hospital with the virus.
As for schools, the health unit listed Steele Street Public School, Bradford District High School, St. Joan of Arc Catholic High School and Nottawasaga Pines Secondary School with COVID-19 outbreaks.
Late Thursday afternoon, parents were notified of another case at Innisdale Secondary School, for a total of three. The Barrie high school currently has two classes closed as a result of the infections.
Dr. John Tuinema with the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit said residents need to limit close contacts to household members.
As the holidays approach, the public health medical resident suggested getting creative this year to connect with extended family.
"You can meet virtually, you can do online gift exchanges, you can do your best to have Christmas dinners simultaneously," Tuinema suggested.
The province reported an uptick in COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, with 1,824 new infections and 14 virus-related deaths.
Toronto, Peel Region and York Region remain Ontario's three top hot spots for cases.