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300 new COVID cases in region, health unit not reporting municipal breakdown

Four COVID-related deaths reported in Simcoe County today
2021-12-07 Health unit Sperling RB 2
The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit offices are located on Sperling Drive in Barrie.

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit has reported 300 new COVID-19 cases and four deaths in its Jan. 12 update.

In the last week, the health unit has reported a total of six deaths. The latest deaths include two women over 79 years old, two women between 65 and 79 years old, and two men between 45 and 64 years old. 

All six people who died were from Simcoe County, and four of the cases were linked to three different institutional outbreaks.

Three of the six people who most recently died were fully vaccinated with two doses of vaccine, and one person who died had three doses of a COVID vaccine. 

Today's cases are not broken down by geographical location. The chief medical officer of health for the region, Dr. Charles Gardner, indicated the health unit would be reporting fewer details on cases as the omicron-driven COVID surge continues. 

Included in the new cases reported today are 52 unvaccinated, eight partially vaccinated, and 179 fully vaccinated people. 

Though the health unit is providing case updates daily, Gardner said it is not representative of the case transmission in the community because only certain high-risk groups are eligible to be tested. As well, the health unit has not kept up with case and contact management as it has in the past. 

There are 8,362 active, lab-confirmed cases in the region, but this total doesn't include those who did not get tested.

Thirty-one Simcoe-Muskoka residents are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, and there are seven in the ICU. 

Over the last eight weeks, there have been 80 unvaccinated people, seven partially vaccinated, and 34 fully vaccinated people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Simcoe Muskoka. All have been over 12 years old. 

Since the start of the pandemic, the local health unit has confirmed 26,699 cases of COVID-19 with 18,041 of those cases recovered and 296 cases ending in death. 

A little over 75 per cent of the entire population of Simcoe-Muskoka has been fully vaccinated. Currently, 85 per cent of the population that is five years of age or older has received at least one dose of a COVID vaccine. More than 38 per cent of the over-12 population has had three doses of a COVID vaccine. 

Because the health unit is not reporting geographical information for cases, there are no longer updates to provide via the municipal breakdown chart typically included in CollingwoodToday reports.