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362 new COVID cases, one new hospitalization in health unit update Friday

The region's hospitals are nearly at capacity for acute care beds occupied by patients with and without COVID
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 is reporting dwindling capacity for non-ICU beds at local hospitals, with 90 per cent already occupied by patients with and without COVID. 

According to the health unit's monitoring, the region's hospitals have a bit more space in the intensive care unit and ventilator beds which are occupied at 75 and 32 per cent capacity respectively.  

There are approximately 26 Simcoe-Muskoka residents hospitalized for COVID-19 and six of those patients are in intensive care units. Area hospitals, however, may also accept patients from outside of the region. 

On Wednesday, the health unit reported more than 87 COVID positive patients at local hospitals with 34 of them being local residents. This would include both patients who were hospitalized because of COVID and those who tested positive but were hospitalized for something unrelated.

While provincial testing guidelines prioritize testing for people living and working in high-risk congregate care settings and hospitalized patients, the testing that is occurring has captured 362 new cases in the region on Jan. 14.

Locally, about 20 per cent of the people who were tested for COVID received a positive result. The health unit's goal is for this rate (per cent positivity) to be at one per cent, which would indicate the amount of testing that is occurring is enough to catch most of the COVID transmission happening in the community. 

Among the cases reported today are 45 unvaccinated people, 11 partially vaccinated, and 219 fully vaccinated. 

The health unit is reporting cases within the region, but is not providing further breakdowns on the primary residence municipality of the people who test positive. 

Since July 18, 2021, COVID hospitalizations in the region have included 152 unvaccinated people, 15 partially vaccinated people and 60 fully vaccinated people. 

In the same time frame, COVID-related ICU admissions have included 42 unvaccinated people and nine fully vaccinated people. 

Of the deaths reported since July, 25 people were unvaccinated and 15 were fully vaccinated. 

Since the start of the pandemic, the local health unit has confirmed 27,047 cases of COVID-19 with 18,100 of those cases recovered and 296 cases ending in death. 

Of the total population in Simcoe-Muskoka (including children under five), 36 per cent has had three doses of a COVID vaccine, 40 per cent has had two doses, five per cent has had one dose, and the remaining 19 per cent of the population is not vaccinated. 

There are 93 active outbreaks in the region including 45 at institutional settings such as long-term care/retirement homes and hospitals, 38 at congregate settings (shelters, group homes), and 10 at educational settings (child care). 

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Erika Engel

About the Author: Erika Engel

Erika regularly covers all things news in Collingwood as a reporter and editor. She has 13 years of experience as a local journalist
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