BARRIE, ONT. -- Simcoe Muskoka logged 19 new COVID-19 cases Friday, for a total of 45 infections this week and no virus-related deaths.

There are currently 141 active infections, including 18 hospitalizations due to the virus.

On Thursday, the province added Simcoe Muskoka to the list of Delta variant hot spots, joining regions like Toronto, York Region and Hamilton.

The health unit didn't report any new Delta cases Friday. The region has a total of 18 confirmed, with 669 more cases that screened positive for a variant of concern but require more testing to identify.

ONTARIO'S PLAN

Ontario passed the threshold for moving to Step 2 on Friday, but the province's top doctor isn't anxious to push forward.

Dr. David Williams said the province might move to the next step "a day or two" earlier than scheduled but no sooner. He added he wants to "stay the course" to ensure "we're careful as we go forward."

Step 1 began on June 11, just three days ahead of the government's schedule. According to the province's reopening plan, Step 2 will occur 21 days later, as long as trends continue in a positive light.

"People just have to be patient," Williams said.

VACCINATIONS

The Simcoe Muskoka health unit reports nearly 63 per cent of the population has had the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while nearly 14 per cent are fully vaccinated.

The province accelerated second doses for many after declaring the region a Delta hot spot. Complete details on booking a COVID-19 vaccine are available here.