Health unit confirms 15 COVID-19 deaths, 259 confirmed cases, and outbreak in group home

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit currently has 259 confirmed cases of COVID-19 including 137 recovered, eight hospitalizations and 15 deaths.
Changes from the previous reporting day (April 24) include 24 new cases. There were 13 previously reported cases that have now recovered. There are outbreaks in four long-term care facility in our area, see the list of current institutional outbreaks for more details.
There is also an outbreak of COVID-19 in a group home in our area.
Each of us can help stop the spread of COVID-19 in our communities and across the region. There are everyday actions we should all use to protect ourselves and others. These actions are very important because:
• We are seeing cases caused by community transmission of COVID-19, which means the virus is spreading in the community from person to person and is not linked to travel or a previously known case.
• Our local cases are increasing and will continue to over the next days and weeks.
• This is not just a disease affecting the elderly, most of our cases are among adults between 35 and 64 years of age. 

Everyday actions to protect yourself and others 

If you think you have COVID-19 symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has it, use the self-assessment tool to help determine how to seek further care. If you need immediate medical attention you should call 911 and tell them your symptoms and if you have travelled.
• Stay home as much as possible (this applies to people who have NOT travelled outside of the country or who are NOT self-isolating with symptoms of COVID-19 and MUST stay at home).
• Practise physical distancing by keeping two metres or 6 feet between you and another person, unless they are members of your household.
Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 15 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Status of Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit cases updated daily Mon – Fri. Subscribe to the unit’s YOUTUBE channel to watch daily weekday media briefings with our Medical Officer of Health.

Estimating Local COVID-19 Transmission

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit used a simulation model developed by the University of Toronto to help us understand the possible impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in our area. Please see the linked presentation for more details.
In summary, the results suggest:
• Intense physical distancing*, or moderate physical distancing with increased case finding and isolation, is the best way to reduce the number of COVID-19 cases.
• Without physical distancing being applied for at least 12 of the next 24 months, it is projected that Ontario would not have enough hospital ICU beds.
• Applying physical distancing in a repeated way could prevent the health care system from being overwhelmed and allow mental health and economic breaks for everyone.
• A repeated cycle of physical distancing would lift physical distancing rules to allow people to return to a more ‘normal’ life and then restore physical distancing rules as cases start to re-appear.

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