Simcoe Muskoka logs over 100 new daily COVID-19 cases
BARRIE, ONT. -- Health officials in Simcoe Muskoka report 101 COVID-19 cases on Wednesday as weekly averages hit record levels.
The week of April 11, the health unit logged 712 infections, a seven per cent jump from the week prior, the region's highest weekly incidence rate ever.
The daily moving average of new cases dropped from mid-January to early March to around 35 per day. Since April 7, that average has surged to above 100 cases per day.
According to the Simcoe Muskoka health unit, Bradford West Gwillimbury had the highest weekly incidence rate six weeks in a row, with 300 new cases per 100,000 population for the second consecutive week.
Despite the grim numbers, the region's medical officer of health applauded the community's efforts to follow guidelines. "We have prevented, through our collective efforts, many tens of thousands of cases, hundreds of cases, throughout Simcoe Muskoka," Dr. Charles Gardner said Tuesday.
Gardner noted his stance in February that the province lifted the shutdown too soon, which ultimately resulted in a spike in provincial cases. "I believe we would have a different situation today with a different course of action at that time."
There are currently 1,104 active cases in the region. Forty-five people are battling the virus in the hospital, including several in the intensive care unit.
Gardner said every confirmed case so far this week has been identified as a variant of concern. The UK B.1.1.7 is the most common strain in Simcoe Muskoka cases. As of April 21, a total of 1,966 tests were identified as the UK strain. The seven-day moving average of new variants that screen positive has more than quadrupled from 15 per day to over 70 per day by the second week of April.
There were no new virus-related deaths reported Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Ontario reported 4,212 new COVID-19 cases and the highest number of ICU patients to date at 790.
The province's seven-day moving average for new cases is 4,326 compared to last week's 4,208.