Coronavirus: Simcoe Muskoka health unit reports total of 62 COVID-19 cases, 1 in nursing home staffer

Specimens to be tested for COVID-19 are seen at LifeLabs after being logged upon receipt at the company's lab, in Surrey, B.C., on Thursday, March 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit reported seven new cases of the novel coronavirus on Wednesday afternoon, bringing the local total up to 62.

One of the cases involves a staff member at a long-term care home in Orillia, Ont., — the Spencer House, according to Charles Gardner, the unit’s medical officer of health.

“We’re just beginning our investigation,” Gardner told reporters Wednesday, saying the health unit will have more information on that case on Thursday.

Of the new cases, two are in men in their 60s and 70s in Barrie and Bradford, Ont. Both are community-acquired and have been hospitalized, according to the health unit.

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The rest of the new cases are under investigation.

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Of the health unit’s total number of cases, 12 have recovered, 11 have been hospitalized and four have died.

Fourteen cases are community-acquired, while 31 are travel-related and 11 are a result of close contact. The source of infection for the remainder of the cases is under investigation.

“I think that there’s much more in the way of community spread than what we’re seeing in the data,” Gardner said.

On Wednesday, Ontario reported 426 new cases of the novel coronavirus, the largest single-day spike in the province so far. In total, Ontario has reported 2,392 cases of COVID-19, including 37 deaths.

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