SMDHU reports 72 new COVID-19 cases, plus 29 active outbreaks
The Simcoe Muskoka health unit reports 72 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, including 29 active outbreaks.
The region's medical officer of health (MOH) said this marks the sixth week of weekly case count increases.
"I am becoming very concerned about the trajectory of things and where we are headed," said Dr. Charles Gardner on Wednesday during an online COVID-19 update.
There are 610 active COVID-19 cases in Simcoe Muskoka, including 33 hospitalizations. Of those, six unvaccinated patients were admitted to the intensive care unit.
Children currently have the highest incidence rate in the region, with 25 per cent of all new COVID-19 diagnoses being children under the age of 12.
COVID-19 OUTBREAKS IN SCHOOLS
Twenty-three schools are listed among Simcoe Muskoka's 29 active outbreaks.
This week, the health unit made the "difficult decision" to close its first school since the pandemic started because of an outbreak.
Spruce Glen Public School in Huntsville has 24 confirmed cases, with 86 per cent of classes impacted.
Despite the rising cases among children, Dr. Gardner said the health unit does not plan to close schools following the winter break like the province did last year.
"We've prioritized the mental and physical wellbeing and education of our children and youth in class, in-person education, and we're doing all that we can to avoid school closures," he stated.
Still, the region's top doctor noted the provincial government could have other plans.
"I can't guarantee that won't happen with a provincial decision," Dr. Gardner added.
With the number of school outbreaks matching those seen during the peak of the third wave, the MOH said there were plans to increase school safety criteria.
"We are interested in additional measures, such as enhanced testing protocols in schools to help keep them open," he mentioned.
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