The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit is reporting three new cases of COVID-19 in Muskoka, one each in Huntsville, Bracebridge, and Georgian Bay.
The Huntsville case is a woman between the ages of 18 and 34; the Georgian Bay case is a male in the same age range; and the Bracebridge case is a man between 45-64 years who is a staff member at The Pines Long-Term Care Home.
Although SMDHU won’t specify the workplace of the Huntsville case and have noted only that it is currently under investigation, Henrietta’s Pine Bakery posted on its Facebook page that it would be closing both its Huntsville and Dwight locations “until further notice as we implement precautionary steps due to a case of covid 19.”
An unknown number of people in the Huntsville area also received a notification on the COVID Alert app late last week with a message that they had been exposed to someone with COVID-19. It is unknown if all of the alerts are related to the new case—to protect privacy, the app doesn’t record user data nor does it identify the location of possible exposure.
Some who received the alert were able to quickly seek testing in Huntsville, while others were forced to travel to other communities due to the imminent closure of the Huntsville COVID-19 assessment centre which shut down permanently on Friday, August 28. As of today, a new assessment centre will open in Bracebridge, operated by Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare (MAHC).
In a media release sent today, the District of Muskoka, which operates The Pines, said that it was notified about the case by the health unit on August 30. The staff member is recovering at home with mild symptoms and is self-isolating for a 14-day period.
Under provincial directive, all long-term care homes must consider even one laboratory confirmed case of COVID-19 in a staff member as a respiratory outbreak.
“For this reason, steps are being take at The Pines which includes completing an outbreak assessment and testing all residents and staff,” said Norm Barrette, the District’s commissioner of health services. “For the time being, it is necessary to suspend all resident visits until the results of the resident and staff testing are received. The outcome of this week’s testing will be provided as soon as available.”
No further information is available about the case in Georgian Bay.
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