COVID-19 cases climb, along with provincial positivity rate which hits 6.1 percent … WHO says it should be below five percent for two consecutive weeks

The Province reported 2,094 new COVID-19 cases today, and the highest positivity rate since January.


More than 86,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in Simcoe/Muskoka as the number of new infections from variants of the virus continues to grow.
The health unit reports that 738 local cases have been tested positive for the COVID-19 variant of concern UK B.1.1.7 (UK), 18 cases have tested positive for the P.1 variant of concern (Brazil), one case has tested positive for the B.1.351 variant of concern (South Africa), and an additional 453 cases have screened positive (awaiting confirmatory testing).
More than 86,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in Simcoe Muskoka, including to nearly 18,000 individuals who have received both of the required doses of the vaccine. In addition, about 3,000 (or 95 percent) of long-term care residents and close to 3,500 (or 96 pent) of retirement home residents have received their first dose.
“The vast majority of doses administered have been the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, however nearly 4,200 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine have also been administered to adults 60-64 years by four Family Health Teams in Simcoe Muskoka, and more than 1,400 doses of Moderna vaccine have also been administered,” reports the unit.
The health unit is also reporting 59 new cases for the current week. There were 308 new cases reported by the unit for the week of March 21, almost 20 percent higher than the 261 cases reported the week prior. The unit updates daily, Monday through Friday.
The Province reported 2,094 new COVID-19 cases today, and the highest positivity rate since January, climbing past six percent; according Public Health Ontario, it reached 6.1 percent on Monday, up from 4.5 percent Saturday and Sunday. On Sunday, 2,448 new cases were reported, and 2,453 on Saturday. Dr. David Williams, the Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer, has said a third wave of the virus is upon us, driven by the variants.
Medical experts keep an eye on the positivity rate because it is an indicator of virus transmission, with, obviously, the higher the number, the greater the infection rate. According to the World Health Organization, the positivity rate should be below five percent for at least two weeks for restrictions to be eased/avoided.
There are a total of 7,464 reported cases of COVID-19 in the region, with 6,773 recovered and 196 deaths. The unit is reporting a rate of transmission (Rt) of 1.5 percent for March 21. If Rt is greater than one, it indicates the spread of COVID-19 is growing, and if it’s s less than one, the spread of COVID-19 is slowing and containment/mitigation efforts may be working to keep the outbreak under control.
The Province is also reporting 841 patients are hospitalized due to COVID-19, with 382 run intensive care units (ICUs) and 236 on ventilators.

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