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Health unit confirms 7 deaths, 6 more COVID patients in hospital

Wastewater sampling from Barrie shows an increase in the virus DNA
2020-07-28 SMDHU offices 3
The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit offices are located on Sperling Drive in north-end Barrie. Raymond Bowe/BarrieToday

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit has confirmed seven more deaths in its latest COVID-19 weekly update. 

All seven deaths were Simcoe County residents, including five men and one woman over 79 years old, and a man between 65 and 79 years old. Five cases were linked to outbreaks. The deaths occurred between June 20 and 27. 

There are active COVID-19 outbreaks at eight institutional settings (long-term care and nursing homes), five congregate settings (like group homes), and two at community settings. 

Collingwood Nursing Home has been in a COVID outbreak since June 27. Roberta Place Retirement Lodge (Barrie), Kingsmere Retirement Living (Alliston), Riverwood Senior Living (Alliston), Georgian Manor (Penetanguishene), Victoria Village Manor (Barrie), and Holland Gardens Retirement Residence memory care unit, are all in COVID-19 active outbreak status.

A list of outbreaks is included on the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit website here.

Today's report, posted July 5, also noted six more hospitalizations for a total of 22 Simcoe-Muskoka residents currently hospitalized because of COVID-19.

The Collingwood General and Marine Hospital reported one inpatient is currently positive for COVID-19. 

Testing has captured 243 new COVID-19 cases in the region since the last update on June 28. Because testing is not available to everyone, case counts are underestimated. 

According to the health unit, the rate of hospitalization for COVID-19 among the unvaccinated population (aged 12 and older) is three times higher than it is for the vaccinated population, and five times higher for ICU admissions. Death rates among the unvaccinated are three times higher than they are for vaccinated populations. 

Since the start of the pandemic, the local health unit has confirmed 46,660 cases of COVID-19, with 45,825 of those cases recovered and 508 cases ending in death.

Of the deaths reported by the health unit since March 2020, 435 were COVID-19-related, 63 deaths were not related to COVID-19 but the person tested positive, and for 10 of them, the cause of death is unknown or pending. 

The health unit reported 30 COVID deaths in April, 22 deaths in May, and 12 deaths in June. Of the last 15 deaths, all but one were seniors aged 75 or older. 

To date, 83 per cent of the population aged five years old and up are fully vaccinated with two or more doses, and 18 per cent of the region’s total population (including children) is unvaccinated.

According to monitoring of the region’s hospitals by the health unit, 74 per cent of the region’s ICU beds are full and 26 per cent of the ventilator beds are occupied. Acute care occupancy is highest with 88 per cent of the beds in the region currently full.

Wastewater monitoring in Collingwood, Orillia, Penetanguishene, and Midland shows COVID-19 virus DNA as present in each of the communities, but there's been no increase or decrease noted in the last week. There is, however, an increase noted in samples collected from Barrie.

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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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