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‘It’s not declining’: 1 new coronavirus-related death, 5 new cases confirmed in Simcoe Muskoka

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The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit confirmed one new coronavirus-related death and five new cases on Tuesday, bringing the region’s total number of COVID-19 cases to 379, including 30 deaths.

The new cases are in Barrie, Innisfil, New Tecumseth and Tay Township, Ont., in people ranging in age from their 20s to 60s. Three of the cases are community-acquired, while the source of infection for one has been labelled as “undetermined” and for another as “under investigation.”

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It’s not declining — it’s continuing on. I think it’s fair to say that we’re still on a plateau,” Dr. Charles Gardner said of the region’s COVID-19 cases Tuesday.

Gardner’s comment come the same day Ontario Premier Doug Ford said he will announce plans Thursday regarding the first stage of reopening the province’s economy

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“I am concerned,” Gardner said. “I in no way believe that opening up businesses will help us bring down our numbers.”

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Gardner said he’s aware the province’s COVID-19 lockdown is stressful on people and the economy.

“[We]need to watch very closely what happens and to communicate caution to everybody about the fact that we’re not out of this,” the health officer said.

“When we relax these controls, there is a potential for some increased transmission.”

READ MORE: 361 new coronavirus cases, 56 deaths in Ontario as total case number rises to 20,907

In the region, there are COVID-19 outbreaks at two long-term care facilities and three retirement homes: Bradford Valley Care Community in Bradford, Ont., Owen Hill Care Community and Whispering Pines Retirement Residence in Barrie, Ont., Bayview Retirement Home in Waubaushene, Ont., and Muskoka Traditions in Huntsville, Ont.

Of Simcoe Muskoka’s total cases, 66 are outbreak-related. A total of 203 people have recovered and nine are hospitalized.

The source of infection for 117 cases has been labelled as community-acquired, while 106 are a result of close contact with another positive COVID-19 case and 55 are travel-related. The source of infection for the remainder of cases has been classified as “undetermined” or “under investigation.”

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On Tuesday, Ontario reported 361 new coronavirus cases, bringing the provincial total to 20,907, including 1,725 deaths.