Simcoe Muskoka marks its deadliest week since start of pandemic
BARRIE, ONT. -- It's been one year since the World Health Organization first warned about the threat of a new virus. At that time, 41 people had been diagnosed with COVID-19.
One year later, Simcoe Muskoka logs its deadliest week associated with the virus since the pandemic started.
On Friday, the health unit reported that another four infected people passed away, bringing the region's death toll to 86. Fifteen people have passed away with the virus since Monday.
A deadly outbreak at Roberta Place in Barrie claimed the lives of six residents, and the facility reports more than 70 residents and staff members have been diagnosed.
"It pains me to see those deaths. This is what we are all working towards - is to protect the most vulnerable," said Dr. Colin Lee, Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) associate officer of health.
The SMDHU recorded 83 new COVID-19 cases Friday, including 36 hospitalizations.
The health unit lists 25 of the recent cases are related to an outbreak. There are 10 seniors' homes with an outbreak, including the most recent at Bradford Valley Care Community and IOOF Seniors' Home in Barrie. Both homes have had previous outbreaks..
Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre in Barrie has an outbreak in its Integrated Stroke and Rehabilitation unit. On Thursday, the health unit reported a man died with COVID-19 amid the hospital outbreak.
Waypoint Mental Health Hospital's Awenda program has an outbreak after a patient tested positive at the Penetanguishene facility.
The region has 1,187 active cases. There have been more than 4,500 total cases and nearly 3,300 recoveries.
According to the health unit, positive tests have been the highest among children and youth under 20 since Jan. 1. The province closed southern Ontario schools until Jan. 25 amid soaring cases.
Meanwhile, there have been 11,189 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine administered in long-term care and retirement homes across Simcoe Muskoka.
The province implemented a second state of emergency and stay-at-home order in an attempt to control the spiralling rates of infection in every region.
The order took effect on Thursday and requires residents to remain home except for essential activities, which are to be determined by people using "their best judgement," Premier Doug Ford said.