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Out-of-town visitors who attended Muskoka resort, restaurant test positive for COVID-19

The people who tested positive for the coronavirus live outside Muskoka and Simcoe County and were part of a group of about 30 individuals from multiple families, the local health officer said Tuesday.
The people who tested positive for the coronavirus live outside Muskoka and Simcoe County and were part of a group of about 30 individuals from multiple families, the local health officer said Tuesday. The Canadian Press /Mark Spowart

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit is investigating a cluster of out-of-town COVID-19 cases who tested positive for the virus after visiting a resort and restaurant in Muskoka over the August long weekend, the region’s health official confirmed Tuesday.

The people who tested positive for the coronavirus live outside Muskoka and Simcoe County and were part of a group of about 30 individuals from multiple families who visited the Deerhurst Resort in Huntsville, Ont., local medical officer of health Charles Gardner said at a press conference.

Of that group, 15 people, one of whom tested positive, ate dinner at separate tables at 3 Guys and a Stove in Huntsville on Aug. 2, the restaurant’s owner, Jeff Suddaby, told Global News Tuesday.

Read more: Simcoe Muskoka health unit confirms 1 new coronavirus case in Gravenhurst man, local total at 668

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“None of them had symptoms at the time,” Gardner said. “Individuals among them developed symptoms after when they went home out of region and sought testing, with results coming back being positive for 11 of those individuals.”

The Huntsville restaurant was informed on Sunday that one of its guests tested positive for the coronavirus, prompting it to close its doors and food truck business that same day.

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Suddaby said the restaurant has since been deep-cleaned and that all employees have been tested for the coronavirus, although they’re still awaiting their results.

If all the results come back negative by Thursday, Suddaby said the restaurant could reopen as early as Friday.

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“(We are) in the middle of conducting an investigation about contact at the site of those facilities — the resort and the restaurant — in order to determine individuals who would need to go into self-isolation and be tested and followed up for further investigation,” Gardner said.

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“So far, we’ve identified one individual who’s deemed to be at high risk, needing to be isolated.”

Suddaby said the server who dealt with the party has been quarantined until Aug. 18.

There’s been a “high degree of compliance” at both Deerhurst and 3 Guys with regards to infection control measures, Gardner said, which has helped the situation.

Read more: Ontario reports 33 new coronavirus cases, lowest single-day increase since mid-March

So far, Gardner noted, there hasn’t been any cases of community transmission in Muskoka related to the positive COVID-19 cases who visited both the resort and restaurant.

“An important takeaway message from this would be that there’s the potential for transmission, even in Simcoe, even in Muskoka, even when the rates are very low,” Gardner finished.

Global News reached out to Deerhurst Resort for comment but didn’t receive a response by time of publication.

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