BARRIE, ONT. -- The Simcoe Muskoka health unit reports six new COVID-19 cases Tuesday as infection rates continue to decline across the region.

Five of the new cases are residents under 45, the sixth is a senior 65 to 79. There are two in Barrie, both community-acquired, plus two in Oro-Medonte, and two in New Tecumseth.

There are currently 142 active infections across Simcoe Muskoka, including 23 hospitalizations.

The daily moving average has declined in recent weeks to below 15 cases, down from 100 daily cases in April.

No new virus-related deaths have been reported this week. The region's COVID-19 death count sits at 246.

Meanwhile, the province reports 296 new infections in the last 24 hours, the lowest case count since Sept. 17.

Vaccine

Currently, 73 per cent of adults 18 years and older living in Simcoe Muskoka have had at least one dose of vaccine, and 48 per cent of children 12 to 17 years of age have had their first shot.

Ontario reports 184,989 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine were administered in the past 24 hours. Just over 11.5 million vaccine doses have been given to residents across the province since the rollout began.

Variants

COVID-19 variants remain a concern for health care professionals.

To date, 4,820 local cases tested positive for a variant. The UK B.1.1.7 remains the most common variant locally, with 3,939 cases. Additionally, 136 cases tested positive for the P.1, 30 cases identified as the B.1.351, and 15 cases tested positive for the B.1.617.2 delta variant, currently the dominant strain in Ontario.