BARRIE, ONT. -- The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit reports 23 new COVID-19 cases Friday, including four associated with an institutional outbreak.

"I'm afraid it's, unfortunately, going to get worse before it gets better," said Dr. Colin Lee, an associate medical officer with the health unit.

The health unit logged 111 new cases the week of Oct. 4, which is the highest number of weekly cases reported since the start of the pandemic.

"There have been more cases reported so far in October than were reported in the months of July and August combined," states the SMDHU.


Meanwhile, two more schools in Simcoe County confirmed cases of COVID-19, marking 15 for the region since reopening one month ago.

Tracking confirmed COVID-19 cases in schools across the region

With Thanksgiving weekend upon us, Collingwood General and Marine Hospital chief of staff, Dr. Michael Lisi, said he's worried the public won't take the necessary precautions and stay within their households.

"I know that's disappointing for many people, but bringing people together indoors from different households, unmasked, sitting around a dinner table, talking, eating, it's just a perfect setting for the COVID-19 virus to spread," said Lisi.

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Ontario is reporting a staggering spike in COVID-19 cases to end the week with 939, marking a new single-day record.

The majority of cases are in the province's hotspots, Toronto, Ottawa and Peel Region, prompting Ontario to revert to a modified Stage 2 for those areas.

While business owners are thankful Simcoe Muskoka was kept off the list of places reverting back to closures, some locals worry the new restrictions will drive out-of-towners to the area.

"I think it's already happening, and I think it's going to spread it even more," one Barrie resident said.