About 11 people who stayed at Deerhurst Resort during the August long weekend have since tested positive for COVID-19, according to the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU).
Some of those Deerhurst guests also visited 3 Guys And A Stove and both businesses were notified on August 9 that patrons who visited their establishments had since tested positive for COVID-19.
Deerhurst Resort issued the following statement today: “Deerhurst Resort General Manager Jesse Hamilton has confirmed that the resort was advised on August 9, by the Simcoe-Muskoka District Health Unit, that guests staying at the resort over the August long weekend tested positive for Covid-19 at some point after their visit. The resort is working with the Simcoe Muskoka Health Unit to ensure the safety of their staff, guests, and community. The resort continues to operate with reduced occupancy and extensive COVID prevention measures and are confident that these measures will prove effective in safely handling this situation as well as the possibility of similar situations in the future.”
Jeff Suddaby of 3 Guys And A Stove was contacted by Doppler on August 10, 2020, and said the restaurant has temporarily closed until all staff has been tested. He also said the person who attended to the infected individuals is currently isolating. You can find that story here.
During his weekly updates on Aug. 11, 2020, Dr. Charles Gardner, medical officer of health for SMDHU, was asked why the restaurant had closed and the resort remained open. He said the restaurant had not been required to close but opted to do so. He also said the investigation regarding the resort is ongoing. Gardner would not comment further but did say, “we did note that there was a high degree of compliance at those two premises with regard to infection control.”
Gardner added that “an important takeaway message from this would be that there is the potential for transmission even in Simcoe, even in Muskoka, even when our rates are very low the potential still exists. People need to continue practising the safety practises that we’re all speaking to.” He was referring to proper physical distancing, maintaining a social circle of no more than 10 people that you have close physical contact with, wearing a mask in indoor public spaces, and good hand hygiene.
The individuals who stayed at the resort were part of a party of about 30 people made up of multiple families, said Gardner. They were not from the area and were consequently not tested here.
Through contact tracing, public health attempts to notify all parties who came into close contact with those infected. Gardner said the definition of close contact is someone who has been within two metres of an infected person without protection such as a mask for 15 minutes or more. “So contact where someone is just passing by on the street wouldn’t fall into that category,” he noted. “We wouldn’t have that information and wouldn’t be able to act on it.”
Gardner noted the importance of people practising precautions such as regular handwashing and wearing a mask, as well as keeping groups at a minimum.
So far, Gardner said there are no related community infections associated with the visitors, at least not at this time. He would not say where those infected with the virus reside.
Don’t miss out on Doppler!
Sign up here to receive our email digest with links to our most recent stories.
Local news in your inbox three times per week!