Simcoe Muskoka logs 21 new COVID-19 cases as Ontario eases capacity limits at some venues
The Simcoe Muskoka health unit's associate medical officer of health is "pleasantly surprised" transmission rates are low in the region, this after the province announced it would relax some safety measures.
Dr. Colin Lee is cautiously optimistic about local case counts with news capacity limits at large venues will increase overnight.
"I don't want to jinx it, but I think we might have found the right balance at least for these four weeks," he said.
The health unit logged 21 new COVID-19 cases on Friday. It reported seven COVID-19 patients are in the hospital, and noted outbreaks in Bradford, Alliston and Barrie schools.
ONTARIO EASES CAPACITY LIMITS
On Friday, Ontario's medical officer of health announced that capacity limits at some indoor settings and outdoor venues would increase starting Saturday.
The new rules apply to indoor settings where proof of vaccination is required, such as meeting and event spaces, banquet halls, sporting events, concerts, theatres and cinemas, and racing venues. Those facilities will see caps increase to 50 per cent or 10,000 people, whichever is less.
The new rules don't apply to restaurants and bars, only large venues.
In addition, capacity limits will jump at some outdoor venues that require proof of vaccination.
Limits increase to 75 per cent or 15,000 people, whichever is less, at outdoor venues where people stand, and 30,000 people where patrons are seated.
In a release, the province said the differing capacity limits are because the risk of transmission is lower "because of reduced mobility around the venue."
Individuals attending an outdoor setting with a maximum capacity of 20,000 or more people will now have to provide proof that they have both doses of a vaccine "to help keep these venues safe for patrons."
SIMCOE MUSKOKA COVID-19 CASES
Of the 21 new cases on Friday, nine are unvaccinated, seven partially and five fully.
Barrie has the most cases on Friday, with 10 listed. The remaining are in Innisfil (2), Tiny (2), and single cases in Bracebridge, Bradford, Huntsville, Midland, Muskoka Lakes, Oro-Medonte, and Tay.
Eight are attributed to close contact with a positive case, and two are community-acquired. The health unit is investigating how the remaining cases were infected.
In Simcoe Muskoka, 74.1 per cent of the population have had their first vaccine shot. The health unit reports 68.6 per cent of the population has had both.
The vaccination numbers break down to show that 84 per cent of residents 12 and older living in Simcoe Muskoka have had at least one dose of the vaccine, including 83 per cent of children 12 to 17, who have had at least one dose of vaccine.
WHERE TO GET THE COVID-19 VACCINE
The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit has several options for getting a COVID-19 vaccine, including a mobile bus.
Sat., Sept. 25
GO-VAXX Bus (Pfizer only) - Barrie Do It Yourself Garage, 84-A Tiffin St, Barrie
10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
GO-VAXX Bus (Pfizer only) - Canadian Musicians Co-Operative, 80 Bradford St., Barrie
10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Mon., Sept. 27
Penetang Library, 24 Simcoe St., Penetanguishene
9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Midland Library, 320 King St., Midland
2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Tues., Sept. 28
Wasaga Beach RecPlex (indoors), 1724 Mosley St., Wasaga Beach
4:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Residents can also book an appointment for their shot or show up without an appointment to the COVID-19 Immunization Centre on Sperling Drive in Barrie between Sept. 26 to Sept. 29.
Starting in October, COVID-19 vaccinations will continue to be available at the Sperling Drive clinic for walk-ins only on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays until the end of November.