The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit confirmed six new cases of the novel coronavirus in the region on Wednesday, bringing the local total number of cases in the region to 267, including 15 deaths.
On Tuesday, the health unit reported a COVID-19 outbreak at a retirement home in the region — Bayview Retirement Home in Waubaushene, Ont.
There are also outbreaks at four long-term care homes in the area — Bradford Valley Care Community in Bradford, Ont., as well as at the Woods Park Care Centre, IOOF Odd Fellow and Rebekah Home and Owen Hill Care Community, all in Barrie, Ont. Another unidentified group home in the region is also experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak.
“We are going through the first wave of the pandemic,” Dr. Charles Gardner, the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit’s medical officer of health, told reporters at a telepress conference Wednesday.
“We can expect after we’ve recovered from this first wave that we could have other waves to come until we end up with a vaccine.”
In terms of people becoming immune to the novel coronavirus, there haven’t been enough studies conducted yet to show what proportion of the population does become immune, according to Gardner.
“Studies that have been done in other jurisdictions have suggested that it can be quite low,” he said.
“It can be two or three per cent of the population that gains immunity because of the fact that we flattened the curve with physical distancing.”
Gardner noted that two people working at the health unit have tested positive for the virus.
“These individuals, from what we can see, acquired it in the community,” he said.
Of the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit’s total number of cases, 36 are outbreak-related, while 148 have recovered.
Ninety-one of the cases in Simcoe Muskoka have been community-acquired, while 63 were a result of close contact with another confirmed case and 54 were 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 67 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 58 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.
On Wednesday, Ontario reported 347 new coronavirus cases, bringing the provincial total to 15,728, including 966 deaths.