You might need to start thinking about shrinking your social circles.

With a recent rise in COVID-19 cases across the region, the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit is asking the public to be cautious to reduce their exposure within the community.

Associate Medical Officer of Health for the health unit Dr. Colin Lee says as our social interactions have increased in the summer, so too have our COVID-19 cases.

“Which is worrisome at this time when we are just now returning to school and for the more vulnerable in our communities,” Dr. Lee said. “We need people to scale back on their get-togethers/gatherings, and to remember to be cautious with people not in their household, even if they are in their social circle of 10. Social circles are not invincible to COVID-19.”

The health unit says as of Friday there have been 42 confirmed cases of COVID-19 for this past week.

That’s highest case count since the week of May 10th when the region saw 44.

The increase in cases includes clusters in multiunit dwellings and households and one case related to a school staff member in Orillia.

“This pandemic has been difficult for all of us and we know that everyone is trying to do their best,” Dr. Lee said. “What we need to do now is continue to work together, and to look out for one another, so that we can live with this pandemic as safely and as normally as possible until it’s over.” 

Meanwhile, the health unit asks that you shrink your close contacts as much as possible to only those within your own household.

You’re also advised to think carefully about how often you go out to in the public and to avoid crowded spaces.

The health unit notes that social gatherings and get-togethers should be kept to 10 people or less while indoors – and 25 or less while outdoors.

Parents should also screen children for symptoms of COVID-19 every day before they leave for school and if they show symptoms, they should be tested.

People are also reminded about the importance of physical distancing, wearing a mask in indoor public spaces and outdoors when physical distancing cannot be maintained, practicing hand hygiene, and self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19.

For more information on COVID-19, you can head to the health unit’s website.