Mark Clairmont |

SIMCOE-MUSKOKA — As dire national modelling emerged today, the number of new COVID cases in Simcoe and Muskoka this week topped 200.

That’s with 39 more people testing positive, Friday Nov. 20, in the local health unit’s area of responsibility.

There were 34 reported cases yesterday.

There were no new deaths locally today.

A Lake of Bays man, aged 18-34, in an educational setting, is one of the 203 being reported so far since Sunday.

Most of the 1,837 local cases this year remain in the Barrie and South Simcoe areas, including three large outbreaks in long-term care homes.

And with four more people in hospital the last day it brings to 10 currently receiving medical care there.

Elsewhere in Ontario, the GTA remains the province’s hot spot with 1,418 people positive — but 8 deaths.

Peel remains the epicentre with 400 cases.

York region reports 160 people with the coronavirus.

Quebec went up again to 1,259 — with 34 people having died since yesterday’s reporting.

Nationally, an emotional and “frustrated” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appealed to fellow Canadians to hunker down and avoid almost all contact with anyone outside their cohort — starting this weekend.

“I don’t want to be here and you don’t want me here saying this again.

“We’re really going to have to tighten up,” he said outside from his Rideau Cottage home. “It’s frustrating.”

But he said the pandemic is “spiking massively.”

Infections in Canada could soar to 60,000 per day by the end of the year in the worst-case scenario, the country’s top public health officer has warned.

Dr. Theresa Tam said even if Canadians follow current public health restrictions, a best-case scenario would see more than 20,000 per day by the end of December.

On Friday, CTV News reported 4,447 cases country-wide.

Trudeau said health officials want to keep that number under 10,000.

All this as Christmas shopping and gatherings approach and winter weather bears down and Canadians spend more time indoors in closer contact.

An important thing to remember as Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit says that since September and the return of school it has seen more cases of youth under 18 contracting the disease through close contact.

With the holiday season here, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau today urged only essential in-person shopping for the rest of the year.



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