Today, Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) released details about the first laboratory-confirmed case of COVID-19 in Muskoka.
A man in his 20s from Huntsville contracted the virus while travelling in Austria/Switzerland, according to the health unit. He is currently self-isolating at home. He was tested on March 22 and results were received at the health until on March 25.
According to a friend of the family, the man returned home as soon as possible and he self-isolated immediately. His family members are self-isolating as well and are awaiting test results.
All laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 are currently required to completely recover from their symptoms, and in the case of healthcare workers they must have two negative tests 24 hours apart, before they can leave self-isolation.
Of the 29 laboratory-confirmed cases in Simcoe Muskoka to date, 16 are in self-isolation, five are hospitalized, three are deceased, and five are pending and details have not been released yet.
Dr. Gardner, medical officer of health for SMDHU, said that more and more cases in the coming days will be via community transmission, and he stressed the need for people to only go out when necessary, abide by physical distancing recommendations, stay home if ill for at least 14 days from the onset of symptoms and 24 hours after symptoms have resolved, and handwash thoroughly and frequently.
He said that the health unit is not notified about all of the tests conducted in the region, but based on both positive and negative results they have received to date, a greater number of tests are being conducted in Simcoe County versus Muskoka—the rate of testing in Simcoe County is 12.8 tests per 10,000 residents while in Muskoka it is 8.8 per 10,000. That’s a statistically significant difference, said Dr. Gardner, adding that the opening of assessment centres in Muskoka will help to increase the amount of testing.
Assessment centres for Huntsville and Bracebridge may be in operation by next week.
This post was updated on March 28th to include date of testing and additional details about the case from a friend of the family.
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