Illustration of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2, the cause of COVID-19 (Photo supplied by: Alissa Eckert, MS, Dan Higgins, MAMS)
Muskoka appears to be on the right track amid the pandemic.
According to the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, there are no new cases of COVID-19 for the fifth straight day within the District of Muskoka.
The last cases came last Thursday when two Huntsville residents had tested positive for the virus.
As a result, the case count for the District remains at 82, with 79 recoveries, one hospitalization and one death.
SMDHU Medical Officer of Health Dr. Charles Gardner says while the case count has been relatively quiet in Muskoka – it’s not quite clear yet if the pandemic curve is flattening.
“It’s true that Muskoka’s test rate is quite a bit less than Simcoe County on a per capita basis,” Dr. Gardner said. “Both areas have actually dropped and there’s a lot of speculation as to why that could be. I would be more concerned if we ended up seeing an elevation in percent of positive cases – but we’re not seeing that.”
Meanwhile, in all of Simcoe-Muskoka, the case count now sits at 1,560, with 1,360 recoveries, 8 hospitalizations and 50 deaths.
With news of a potential vaccine in its preliminary stages being developed by drug manufacturer Pfizer, Gardner says there’s a reason for optimism, but we won’t know for certain until we see results.
“We need to temper our hope and wait and see how things play out,” Gardner explained. “The Chief Medical Officer of Canada has indicated this may not be a silver bullet. We’d have to see what the uptake in the population would be – whether you could find enough people willing to participate but I do believe there will be a very high uptake.”
Gardner says it is promising to see the lack of cases in Muskoka but adds that we need to remain cautious and vigilant.
He says that can be done by continuing to follow public health guidelines.
“Sticking to your household or if you live alone – an adopted household,” Gardner said. “Always ensure you are physically distancing from people make sure you are two meters away. Make sure you’re using face coverings in indoor public settings or outdoors if you cannot physically distance and of course hand hygiene.”
To view the total case count for Simcoe-Muskoka, head to the health unit’s website.