Simcoe Muskoka has 3 confirmed COVID-19 cases; 2 in self-isolation, 1 man in 70's hospitalized

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Muskoka Post Staff

Simcoe Muskoka has now three confirmed cases of COVID-19.

The first case was reported on Friday March 13, a man in his 40's was diagnosed with COVID-19 at Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre in Barrie on March 9. He had recently returned from visiting Spain and Germany.

Over the weekend March 14 and 15 another two cases have been reported in Simcoe Muskoka. Ontario health confirmed a woman in her 40's was diagnosed with COVID-19 at the Southlake Regional Health Centre. Her case is connected to travel, however, the destination is still pending, she is currently in self isolation.

A male in his 70's has also been diagnosed with COVID-19 at the Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre and is currently being hospitalized. Transmission status of this patient is still pending.

As of this morning March 16 the current COVID-19 Ontario numbers are as follows;

Negative - 7004

Currently under investigation - 1316

Confirmed positive - 140

Resolved- 45

Total number of patients approved for COVID-19 testing to date- 8465

On Friday March 13 Canada's Public Health Officer advised against all non-essential travel and advised Canadians to cancel or postpone upcoming March break trips. Federal public officials will also be reducing the number of international flights by allowing a limited number of airports to accept those flights.

Canada's travel advisory is now at a level 3 and states that "many countries are reporting community or widespread transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19. In some countries, travellers may have limited access to timely and appropriate health care should they become ill. Local authorities may impose control measures suddenly, including movement restrictions such as quarantine. Older people and those with a weakened immune system or underlying medical condition(s) are at a higher risk of developing severe disease.

If you must travel, please visit the Government of Canada's travel advice and advisories page for your destination(s) regularly to verify travel health recommendations and safety and security information."

All municipal and district committee/council meetings in Muskoka have been cancelled for March as well as March break activities, some local businesses have also opted to close for the time being.

District Chair John Klinck said he has entered the recommended self-isolation period after returning from a recent international trip.

“I am not experiencing any symptoms at this time, but I will self-isolate for the time recommended by our health officials for anyone who has travelled outside of the country in the last 14 days,” said Chair Klinck.  “It is essential that all Canadians follow the advice of our health officials during this outbreak and do all we can to help protect the most vulnerable in our communities.”

District offices remain open for normal and routine business.  If you are feeling unwell, or anyone you have close contact with is feeling unwell district staff ask that you refrain from entering municipal facilities or participation in programs. You can reach the District of Muskoka by phone at 705-645-2100.

Ontario's Chief Medical Officer has suspended all non-essential visits to Long Term Care Homes as a result at this time, only people who are visiting residents who are very ill or requiring end-of-life care are permitted to enter the districts Pines Long Term Care facility in Bracebride.  If you are making an essential visit, you will be asked additional questions upon arrival to determine if you can proceed with your visit. For more district information and updates:

Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare is encouraging patients who are calling to be screened to call Telehealth at 1-866-797-0000 before coming to the hospital. The Ministry of Health also now has a digital self assessment tool on its website:

As this story develops we will continue to bring you updates.

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