Health unit reports 29 new COVID-19 cases since last report, 10 of which are in Barrie, for a total of 872

Seniors 80 years of age and older have been disproportionally impacted by the pandemic, having both the highest incidence and case fatality rates; however, younger adults between 18 and 34 years had the highest rate of infection since June.

Latest health unit COVID-19 update reports 872 total confirmed cases, 38 deaths, and 29 new cases since last report

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit has confirmed 872 current cases of COVID-19, including 740 recovered and 38 deaths. Since the unit’s last update, 29 new cases have been reported. The unit updates daily, Monday to Friday.
Of the new cases, 10 are located in Barrie, and involve: nine people aged 18-34, one youth 17 or younger. For the week of Sept. 20, there were 52 confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to the health unit. This is the second consecutive week with more than 50 cases reported, which hasn’t occurred since May. 
Highlights of the latest update are:
• There has been an increase in the number of cases reported in Barrie since the latter part of August, and nearly half of all currently active cases reside in Barrie. There have been more cases reported in Barrie in September than in any of the previous three months.
• For the week of Sept. 13, there were 55 confirmed COVID-19 cases, the second highest weekly number that has been reported since the beginning of the pandemic. Numbers are updated daily, from Monday through Friday by the health unit.
• The vast majority of COVID-19 cases in Simcoe Muskoka have recovered from the infection.
• Seniors 80 years of age and older have been disproportionally impacted by the pandemic, having both the highest incidence and case fatality rates; however, younger adults between 18 and 34 years had the highest rate of infection since June.
• The rate of COVID-19 infections in Simcoe Muskoka is highest among those that live in areas that are moderately or well resourced, as measured by the Ontario Marginalization Index. For more information on the impact of marginalization on COVID-19 infection in Simcoe Muskoka see the full reportand summary presentation.
• The rate of COVID-19 infections in Simcoe Muskoka is highest among those that live in areas with greater ethnic diversity when compared to areas with lower ethnic diversity as measured by the Ontario Marginalization Index. For more information on the impact of COVID-19 infections in culturally diverse areas of Simcoe Muskoka see the full report and summary presentation.
• There are outbreaks in long-term care facilities and retirement home in our area. See the list of current institutional outbreaks for more details. 
• September is seeing an increase in case activity in other municipalities. In Bracebridge there have been more cases reported in September than in all previous months combined. Bradford West Gwillimbury, New Tecumseth, Wasaga Beach, Orillia, Innisfil and Huntsville already have more cases in September than was reported in all of August. Reported cases continue to decline in most other municipalities.
Other information:
Estimating Local COVID-19 Transmission
Tables of Case Counts by Age, Status & Transmission
Epidemic Curve by Date of Symptom Onset
Actions individuals can take everyday to protect themselves and others include:
• 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 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.
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.
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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