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'This will persist for months,' Simcoe Muskoka health unit reveals grim predictions
BARRIE -- The health unit is reporting two new COVID-19 cases on Friday, bringing the region's total to 73.
Twenty people have now recovered from the virus, including a Barrie man who was on life support, and 11 people still remain in the hospital.
Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit's (SMDHU) Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Charles Gardner, says the province's sobering projections that were announced today aren't surprising.
"They are in line with what we're seeing."
Dr. Peter Donnelly, Public Health Ontario, says between 3,000 and 15,000 people in the province will die from the virus. He says that without the public health measures now in place, the worst-case modelling projects up to 100,000 deaths in Ontario.
"That is our closest estimate," Dr. Donnelly says from Queen's Park, explaining the modelling predicts the COVID-19 pandemic could last between 18 months and two years.
Dr. Gardner agrees with the timeline, saying, "We're going to be in this, possibly, as long as two years... possibly as long as it takes to find a vaccine."
The SMDHU medical officer of health says isolation can weigh heavily on the mental stability of many. "I am concerned, this is unprecedented - this kind of restriction on the world."
However, Dr. Gardner continues to reiterate the utter importance of physical distancing.
Dr. Gardner estimates Simcoe Muskoka could see between 15 to 20 deaths by the end of the month, with between 130 and 200 confirmed cases.
- With files from CTV Toronto's Sean Davidson