Another Covid-19 case confirmed in Muskoka Lakes; MAHC plans robust strategy with limited resources

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Agatha Farmer

Muskoka has added another positive Covid-19 case as an 80 year old female from Muskoka Lakes is listed as case 159. Her source of infection is from travel and she is currently

self-isolating. This positive result comes on the heels of news that an 80 year old male Muskoka Lakes seasonal resident whose infection was related to US travel died on Saturday at Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare. He was Muskoka's first Covid-19 death.

Unfortunately chances are that he won't be the last Covid death in Muskoka as both the public health unit as well as Muskoka's physicians are clear that we have not yet reached case peak in the region and a surge is yet to come. As the Simcoe Muskoka district health unit scales down on hosting daily update conference calls and will now be providing information three times a week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday) in order to manage workloads and staff resources; Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare's Director and Chief of Emergency Medicine Dr. John Simpson said Muskoka's health care team has been prepping for the anticipated case increase.

In a television interview Simpson said Muskoka hospitals are actively preparing for the surge which they think is still yet to come and the region is "not anywhere near through this."

He said a lot of preparation goes into the planning of scenarios which meets the needs of patients with Covid-19 and those without.

"It's a bit daunting to try to think of what may come so we are trying to plan a robust strategy with back ups while keeping in mind that our resources are somewhat limited as a smaller hospital," he said.

Simpson also expressed concern and stress over health care professionals being able to plan for isolation from their own families and admitted that it's a challenge. He strongly supports the message of staying home. Simpson also noted that health care professionals do not have a higher risk of transmitting the virus as they are hypervigilant and are very well protected.

Simpson said he "fears more going to places in the community" than going to work, however, as preparation some of his colleagues have rented extra accommodations just in case of infection which would require total isolation from their families. He also acknowledged that the community has been very supportive and the reach out to Muskoka health care workers has been excellent.

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