BARRIE, ONT. -- The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit reports 43 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday and three new UK B.1.1.7 variant cases.

No new deaths were reported.

The region's chief medical officer of health said he's considering advising the province to push Simcoe Muskoka back into lockdown as COVID and variant cases rise.

"I've communicated to the province my concern about where we're headed and [my] position that we need to be prepared to go into a shutdown again in the near future," said Dr. Charles Gardner during a Facebook Live on Tuesday.

The numbers released Wednesday show eight cases in Innisfil, seven in Barrie and Bradford, six in Orillia and Tiny, and three in New Tecumseth and Oro-Medonte. Clearview, Adjala-Tosorontio, and Gravenhurst all had a single case reported.

There are 174 confirmed UK B1.1.7 variant cases, with 270 possible cases that require further testing to confirm. Dr. Gardner said Tuesday he believes they will all be identified as the UK variant.

There are 21 COVID-19-positive people in the hospital, four in the intensive care unit.

The health unit lists six institutional outbreaks in Simcoe Muskoka, including four long-term care homes, one retirement home and one hospital.

There is currently one active school outbreak at Innisfil Central Public School in Lefroy, where four individuals have tested positive for COVID.

Track COVID-19 cases in local schools and childcare centres

Meanwhile, public health is moving forward with its vaccination plan.

To date, 36,120 Simcoe Muskoka health care workers, long-term care and retirement home residents have received their first dose of the vaccine.

The health unit said the next priority group, people 80-plus, could be vaccinated as early as next week.

Gardner said details about who can get the vaccine, how to book an appointment and where to go would be revealed Thursday.