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Coronavirus: 32 new COVID-19, 44 additional variant cases confirmed in Simcoe Muskoka

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WATCH: As COVID-19 vaccination programs kick into high gear across Ontario, some experts worry people are developing preferences when it comes to which shot they want to receive. Doctors say the key thing to focus on, is that all vaccines are effective at preventing hospitalization and death. Katherine Ward reports. – Mar 1, 2021

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.

Read more: COVID-19 vaccine clinics open across Simcoe Muskoka as lockdown takes effect

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.

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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.

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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.

Read more: Ontario reports 966 new coronavirus cases, 11 more deaths

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.

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