Residents heading into the workplace among most infected in Simcoe Muskoka
BARRIE, ONT. -- The latest data from the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit reveals the majority of positive COVID-19 cases are among those ages 18 to 35.
Bradford West Gwillimbury remains the region's hot spot.
While unable to say for certain where all cases are coming from, Dr. Colin Lee, the associate medical officer of health, says a majority results from workplace outbreaks.
"It's really hard to know. It's a bit of the chicken and the egg," says Lee. "But what we know for sure is that most of our outbreaks, I think it's about 14 out of 24 outbreaks are in workplaces. That's people who are unable to stay home are going to work."
Lee says the health unit is working with the Town of Bradford to expedite the vaccination process.
He notes things remain dire in the region right now but that we may be seeing the light at the end of the dark tunnel of this latest wave.
"For lack of better terms, it's still pretty bad out there," Lee says. "There's a lot of COVID circulating in the communities. The potential good news is that we may for the first time in a very long time see a bit of levelling off, perhaps the fruits of the start of the lockdown that started a few weeks ago."
Lee says the region may have reached its peak in the latest wave last week. However, officials require a few weeks of consistent data before they can confirm that.
The Muskoka area has seen its highest case counts yet, primarily due to the more transmissible variants. Lee says if we remain vigilant and avoid gathering with members outside of our households, we could start to see things levelling off in about four weeks.
"Let's make this the last wave, the last lockdown, before we all get the chance to be immunized."
Lee mentioned he's pleased with the recent expansion of vaccinations to younger people and pregnant women.
"That provides more people who may actually not be able to stay at home, who have to work, be eligible for immunization," he says. "That will protect them as well as their workplaces where we're seeing the majority of our outbreaks."