On Monday, March 30, Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) reported that the number of laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Muskoka is now six, three of them in Huntsville and three in Gravenhurst. All are travel-related and five of the six are self-isolating. The sixth, in Gravenhurst, is reported as recovered.
The Huntsville cases are as follows:
- A man in his 20s who had travelled to Austria
- A woman in her 60s who had travelled to the US
- A man in his 60s who had travelled to Austria
The health unit said that all self-isolated upon their return,a measure that is now required under the federal Quarantine Act.
Due to privacy concerns, the health unit will not comment on whether any of the people are related. In two of the three cases, there was a three-day lag between testing and results being received at the health unit (from March 22 to 25 and March 24 to 27). Details for the third case were not available.
These cases bring the total within Simcoe Muskoka to 50. The details of six of those are still pending. The remaining 44 include six recovered, eight hospitalizations and four deaths.
“We continue to have a high number of cases that are travel-related,” said Dr. Charles Gardner, medical officer of health for SMDHU, adding that there has also been significant community transmission within the health unit’s catchment area, which remains of concern.
SMDHU reminds 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, or until their symptoms have resolved, whichever is longer.
Dr. Gardner noted that the premier has called on people to remain in their primary home location, a recommendation that he supports, adding that there is a greater degree of healthcare available in larger centres and it would be in people’s best interests to remain at their primary residences.
According to Dr. Gardner, assessment centres will open in Muskoka on Wednesday, one in Huntsville and one in Bracebridge. Stay tuned for further details.
SMDHU also provides these recommendations for everyone to protect themselves:
- Stay home
- Avoid all non-essential trips into your community.
- Practise physical distancing
- Physical distancing means keeping two (2) meters 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.
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