Simcoe Muskoka reports 3 new COVID-19 deaths, plus 58 new infections
BARRIE, ONT. -- Three more Simcoe County residents died after contracting COVID-19, the health unit reports Thursday.
So far in May, 11 locals have lost their lives to the deadly virus. The most recent deaths include a man 45 to 64, a man 65 to 79, and a senior woman.
Health care workers logged 58 new infections in the past 24 hours across Simcoe Muskoka - a majority of the new cases are among residents under 45 years of age.
There are currently 857 active infections, including 32 hospitalizations.
The region's identified hot spot, Bradford West Gwillimbury, had the highest weekly incidence rate for the eighth consecutive week. However, the weekly incidence rate has declined to below 200 new cases per 100,000 population for the first time since late March.
On Thursday, the province announced another two-week extension of the stay-at-home order to further slow the spread of the virus.
Premier Doug Ford said COVID-19 variant strains remain a "major concern."
According to the Simcoe Muskoka health unit, there have been 4,020 cases confirmed to be a variant of concern in the region - most being the B.1.1.7 mutation, originally from the United Kingdom. Of those, 630 cases remain active.
Ford said the continued restrictions would allow time for more individuals to get vaccinated to help "save the summer."
Nearly 38 per cent of Simcoe Muskoka residents have received the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. On Thursday, the health unit opened appointments for the shot to anyone 40 and older.
Full details on who is eligible, how to book and where to get a COVID-19 vaccine in Simcoe Muskoka are available here.
Under the current restrictions, all non-essential businesses must remain closed.
To limit reasons to leave home, Ford said outdoor amenities, including golf and tennis, would also remain closed. "There's nothing wrong with golfing. The problem is the mobility," the premier said.
The stay-at-home order is now in place until at least June 2.