9 new coronavirus cases confirmed in Simcoe Muskoka, local total reaches 770

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The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit confirmed nine new cases of the novel coronavirus on Tuesday, six of which involve men who are between the ages of 18 and 34 in Barrie, Ont.

The region’s new cases bring the local total case count up to 770, including 37 deaths.

Read more: Staffer at Orillia, Ont. high school tests positive for COVID-19: health unit

The other new cases involve people who are between the ages of 35 and 79 in Bradford and Orillia, Ont.

Three of the Barrie cases are a result of close contact with another positive COVID-19 case, while one is community-acquired. The rest are under investigation.

The Bradford and Orillia cases are also under investigation.

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“It’s a young group of people that we have more recently,” said Dr. Charles Gardner, the Simcoe Muskoka health unit’s medical officer of health, at a tele-press conference Tuesday.

“The average age now is 30, so that’s the youngest that we’ve seen since the beginning of the pandemic.”

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Gardner said the region has seen more COVID-19 cases in September than it did during the entire month of August.

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“We’ve got a total of nine clusters happening in households,” he said. “Six of those nine are groupings of young people in a multi-unit dwelling, and the other three are family households. None of them have links to the outbreaks that we have happening.”

Gardner said people who are in the age group of 18 to 34 are becoming infected through work-related exposures, social gatherings and their household contacts.

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There have been 21 COVID-19 outbreaks in Simcoe County and Muskoka — three of which are ongoing at long-term care homes in Barrie and Bracebridge, as well as at a workplace in Muskoka.

Read more: Ontario reports 251 new coronavirus cases, almost half in Toronto and Peel Region

Other regional outbreaks that have ended include 10 long-term care homes in the region, three workplaces, four retirement homes and one group home.

Of the health unit’s total cases, 87.5 per cent — or 674 — have recovered, while one person remains in hospital. Nineteen per cent of the region’s cases are related to local institutional outbreaks.

On Tuesday, Ontario reported 251 new coronavirus cases, bringing the provincial case count to 45,068, including 2,820 deaths.

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