The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit confirmed 32 new COVID-19 cases and 44 additional cases of a variant of concern on Tuesday, bringing the local total coronavirus case count up to 6,525, including 189 deaths
Public health also said a total of 352 people have screened positive for a COVID-19 variant of concern in the region, while a total of 191 cases are confirmed to be the B.1.1.7 variant, which was first discovered in the U.K. and is believed to be up to 70 per cent more contagious than earlier coronavirus strains.
Twenty-five of Tuesday’s news cases are in Barrie, while the rest are in Bracebridge, Bradford, Collingwood, Essa, Huntsville, New Tecumseth and Tay Township.
Twelve of the new cases are a result of close contact with another positive COVID-19 case, while four are outbreak-related and three are community-acquired.
The rest of the new cases are all still under investigation.
On Monday, there were 1,648 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine administered in the region, bringing the total number of doses given up to 43,439.
According to the health unit, more than 15,000 people in the region have received both necessary coronavirus vaccine doses.
Of the region’s total 6,525 COVID-19 cases, 89 per cent — or 5,816 — have recovered, while 18 people are in hospital.
There are also 29 COVID-19 outbreaks in the region — at 14 workplaces, 10 institutional settings, three educational settings and two community settings.
On Tuesday, Ontario reported 966 new coronavirus cases, bringing the provincial total up to 302,805, including 6,997 deaths.