Only two new cases of the novel coronavirus were confirmed by the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit on Tuesday, bringing the region’s total number of cases to 261, including 15 deaths.
There are outbreaks of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, at four long-term care homes in the region, including at Bradford Valley Care Community in Bradford, Ont., as well as Wood Park Care Centre, IOOF Odd Fellow and Rebekah Home and Owen Hill Care Community, all in Barrie, Ont.
There has also been a coronavirus outbreak at an unidentified group home in the area.
Of the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit’s total number of cases, 36 are outbreak-related, while 144 have been resolved.
Ninety of the cases in Simcoe Muskoka are community-acquired, while 63 are a result of close contact with another confirmed case and 54 are travel-related. The source of infection for the remainder of cases has been identified as undetermined or under investigation.
Eight people confirmed to have COVID-19 are hospitalized in Simcoe Muskoka, while 65 are self-isolating.
According to the local health unit, most people confirmed to have COVID-19 in the region are between the ages of 35 and 64. Seventy-seven of the health unit’s cases are in people age 65 or older, while 57 cases are in individuals between the ages of 18 and 34.
Nine of the cases in the region are in those between the ages of zero and 17.
Novel coronavirus cases have plateaued in Simcoe Muskoka, local medical officer of health Dr. Charles Gardner has said.
“We’re in this for the long haul with this virus,” Gardner told reporters Monday. “We expect it to come and go in waves and that it will persist until we get an effective vaccine, which could be another year and a half out or so from now.”
On Monday, Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced a plan to reopen the province’s economy in three stages, although no firm dates were provided.
On Tuesday, Ontario reported 525 new COVID-19 cases, bring the provincial total to 15,381, including 951 deaths.