Health unit forecasts 600 new cases of COVID-19 for week of Jan. 24-30 if current growth trends continue

The health unit is reporting 248 new cases for the current week. Last week (Dec. 27 to Jan. 2) the unit reported 388 new cases. Its numbers are updated daily, Monday through Friday. There are now a total of 3,833 confirmed cases in the region, with 2,525 recovered and 69 deaths.


The Simcoe/Muskoka region continues to be on the wrong side of the COVID-19 Rt rate, with the latest numbers from the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit showing the average daily growth of the virus coming in at 1.6 per cent.
“Based on projections, if this level of growth continues there will be approximately 600 cases reported during the week of Jan. 24-30, or about 85 cases per day with a projected weekly incidence rate of 101 cases per 100,000 population,” the unit reports.
To send the curve bending in a negative direction, the Rt rate (effective reproduction rate) needs to be below one. It’s a key indicator to determine if infection rates are moving in the right direction … downward. If the value is two, that means one person is responsible for passing the infection to two people.
Another term to understand is the reproduction rate, or RO. It refers to the number of people an infected person can be expected to infect; without any safety precautions, the infection number can be two to four from one person. The difference between RO and Rt is that the latter changes depending on individual behaviour.
The unit is reporting 316 new cases for the current week. Last week (Dec. 27 to Jan. 2) the unit reported 388 new cases. Its numbers are updated daily, Monday through Friday. There are now a total of 3,833 confirmed cases in the region, with 2,525 recovered and 69 deaths. Today (Tuesday) the Province is reporting 3,128 new cases, or 147 weekly per 100,000 people. It is also being reported that 1,347 people are being cared for in Ontario hospitals for COVID-19, including 325 in intensive care. Of that number, 245 people are on ventilators.
Highlights of the report include:
• The seven-day moving average of new COVID-19 cases in Simcoe Muskoka steadily increased from early August to early October, from less than one case per day to more than 16 cases per day. The moving average dropped to 12 cases per day in mid-October; however, it increased to nearly 50 cases per day by mid-December
• Young adults (18 to 34 years) have had the highest rate of new cases since the start of the second wave of the pandemic; however, the rates have increased significantly across all age groups since August
• While the rate of new COVID-19 infections among females was higher than males in the first wave of the pandemic, the rate among males has been higher than females since September
• There have been more than 650 cases associated with local outbreaks since the start of the pandemic. From March to October approximately 75 per cent of these cases were linked to long-term care and retirement homes outbreaks and more than 20 per cent were linked to workplace outbreaks. See the list of current institutional outbreaks for more details. From November onward, outbreak-associated cases have been distributed relatively evenly across institutional settings, congregate settings, educational settings and workplaces.
• There are currently zero active school outbreaks in Simcoe Muskoka. For more information and data about COVID-19 and school impacts, visit the Province of Ontario’s COVID-19 cases in schools and child care centres website
• Most COVID-19 cases in Simcoe Muskoka are from the Barrie and South Simcoe areas. Click here to view the epidemic curve by municipality
• Approximately half of all new infections in December with a known cause were acquired from close contact with a confirmed positive case and about 20 per cent were acquired in the community with no known source of infection
The region is currently in shutdown mode, along with the rest of Southern Ontario. Premier Doug Ford said the measures are necessary to halt the rapid growth of COVID-19 cases. Click here to read what the measures mean for Barrie residents.

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