Muskoka, ON-The first case of COVID-19 has hit the Muskoka region.

During a press conference earlier today, Dr. Charles Gardner of the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit provided an update stating there are currently 21 confirmed cases of the virus.

Speaking to reporters, he is urging people to be especially careful with physical distance, as the numbers have nearly doubled within a day.

“They need to consider very carefully whether they need to go out at all and certainly abiding by the venue closures and the workplace closures the government have put in place. And I feel this is every bit as important now in Muskoka as it is in Simcoe or anywhere else in the province.”

The Health Unit says they have evidence of community transmission, meaning the virus is spreading in the community and is not linked to travel or a previously known case.

Gardner says at this time details on the Muskoka patient’s age and sex are not known.

The most affected age group are those between the ages of 35 and 64, with 13 confirmed.

“While there is a much higher death rate in senior citizens or people with pre-existing medical conditions, it can very much indeed affect younger people,” Gardner said. “Everyone needs to take this to heart and do what they can to do the physical distancing to protect themselves and others.”

Gardner is now recommending that anyone who has new cold-like/respiratory symptoms, regardless of travel history, who has not been tested should self-isolate at home for 14 days, or until their symptoms have resolved.

Updates will now be provided daily by the Health Unit, as the pandemic continues.

For a list of services available in Muskoka visit the Ontario 211 site.