On April 2, the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) reported that there are now four laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Huntsville.
There is also a new case in Muskoka Lakes that is still under investigation, which brings the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases of the virus in Muskoka to eight. As of today, there are a total of 71 cases within the health unit’s catchment area in Simcoe Muskoka, including five still under investigation, 17 recovered, 10 hospitalizations and four deaths.
The newest Huntsville case, a woman in her 50s, is a close contact of another confirmed case. All three of the previous cases are now reported as recovered.
Dr. Charles Gardner, SMDHU’s medical officer of health, said that there is still a significant difference in the number of tests being conducted in Simcoe County vs. Muskoka—24 tests per 10,000 people in Simcoe County vs. 18.8 per 10,000 in Muskoka. He had previously noted that test numbers received at the health unit may not have included all of the negative test results; he could not say if that is still the case but will provide additional details in Friday’s media briefing.
It will be some time before Muskoka catches up, he noted, given that assessment centres opened in several municipalities in Simcoe County sooner than in Muskoka, but the differential should start to decrease now that assessment centres are open in both Huntsville and Bracebridge.
The province is now doing 5,000 tests per day, and Dr. Gardner said that the health unit is now receiving results within one to two days of the test being conducted.
Tips from the SMDHU on how to protect yourself and others
With the Easter holiday coming up, a time when many people would likely get together, we need to all be doing our part to avoid transmission and that means connecting from a distance using technology, said Dr. Gardner.
It is a risk for people to welcome others in their family who do not already live in their household. There is no way to know if someone is infected but asymptomatic, and that increases the risk of transmission.
If you do need to go out into the community, it is best to assume that anyone you encounter is potentially infected and ensure that you keep physical distance of at least two metres.
Anyone who has new cold-like/respiratory symptoms (regardless of travel history), and has not been tested for COVID-19, is to self-isolate at home for 14 days.
- Stay home
- Avoid all non-essential trips into your community.
- Practise physical distancing
- Physical distancing means keeping two (2) metres or 6 feet between you and another person.
- Everyone should practise physical distancing to reduce their exposure to other people.
- Everyone should do their best to avoid close contact with people outside of their immediate families.
- Practise proper hygiene
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 15 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Sneeze and cough into your sleeve.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
If you believe you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 symptoms, you should begin to self-monitor for a period of 14 days. This means that, in addition to physical distancing, you should track how you feel. You should take your temperature daily and log any other symptoms that develop (for example, sore throat, new cough or difficulty breathing). You can share these records with your primary care provider over the phone if you seek assessment services.
For more local news and updates on COVID-19 in Huntsville, check our COVID-19 page regularly.
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