Our health unit will likely struggle to meet demand for testing, monitoring, and booster shot rollout in the coming months, according to the region’s top doctor.
Dr. Charles Gardner says test positivity is currently at 6.8 per cent within the Simcoe-Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU), the highest it has been since the start of the pandemic. He says the sheer number of new cases means many people will not be able to access testing.
As such, Gardner asks people to get tested where possible, and “take it on yourself” to isolate for 10 days if symptoms appear.
While he encourages people to get a booster shot, he acknowledges that most appointments have been booked well into January. He says officials are looking at adding clinics, but staff are spread thin as is.
Concerning the holidays, Gardner says to assess the risk of any gatherings, and to keep in mind the capacity limit of 10 people indoors.
“Outdoor contact with people would be the safest means of doing so,” says Gardner. “If you are having people in your home, have a small group. Certainly people need to self-screen if they have symptoms, and not attend.”
As of Wednesday, the health unit reports 19 new cases of COVID-19 in Muskoka, for a total of 109. Most of the new cases were added in Huntsville, which now stands at 40 active cases. 22 cases are in Georgian Bay, 21 in Bracebridge, 15 in Gravenhurst, nine in Muskoka Lakes and two in Lake of Bays.
According to the SMDHU website, only one outbreak remains active in our district: a congregate setting with six linked cases.
**Written by Martin Halek and Mo Fahim