Mark Clairmont | MuskokaTODAY.com

SIMCOE-MUSKOKA — As tougher new Ontario state of emergency measures kick at midnight tomorrow (for 28 days), a Bracebridge man in his 80s with an undetermined cause of COVID-19 is among 68 cases reported today by the health unit.

The Muskoka resident tested positive Sunday Jan. 10 and was just reported and accounted for on Tuesday Jan. 12.

The updated figures date back to last Tuesday, Jan. 5.

The Bracebridge man is in addition to 3 residents and 1 staff member in a Muskoka congregate setting; a resident at another health-care facility and 7 staff at a Muskoka business.

This as Dr. Charles Gardner says the Pfizer vaccine, which been handed out in Barrie to 8,165 health-care workers in Muskoka and North Simcoe, is about to be delivered to local long-term care homes this week — and retirement homes next week.

Yesterday 178 LTC residents in Orillia and Barrie received their first dose where they live in a successful test program.

Public health nurses are fanning out the rest of the week and expect to complete resident injections at LTCs by Saturday.

And next week Muskoka Paramedic Services will assist the distribution at retirement home.

Ontario goes back under a state of emergency Thursday calling on people not to leave home unless it’s absolutely essential, meaning people like Bruce Schulz had to do his banking before midnight tomorrow.

He said Muskoka and Simcoe North have the second-highest distribution rate in Ontario.

Gardner, the medical officer of health for the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU), said in a media conference this afternoon that the Pfizer vaccine can now be transported (as of Jan. 6) outside Barrie. And once it is thawed from -70C it can be refrigerated for five days and then in a needle will last for six hours.

However, he said SMDHU is not getting the expected shipment of the Moderna vaccine it expected, as it was diverted to other health units by the province.

Three more people died this week of COVD: two men aged 65-79 and a woman in her 80s, all in Simcoe.

So far the health unit says there have been 121 new cases this week starting on Monday.

There were 488 new cases reported to the health unit last week Jan. 3-7.

Gardner said there are 35 people in local hospitals, some of them from outside the SMDH region where there are also some local residents in other hospitals.

He admitted that with new dire provincial projections for increased hospitalizations due to the coronavirus, that hospitals may be taking precautions with other patients to make sure there is enough room to accommodate coming pandemic cases.

Bradford-West Gwillimbury and New Tecumseh remain the worst locations for the disease.

Gardner said 20 per cent of this week’s cases come from holiday gatherings from two to 22 people with a median number of six.


  • Georgian Bay General Hospital outbreak over.
  • 7 patients and 1 staff at the Waypoint mental health facility in Penetang have tested positive.
  • 8 EMS staff in Simcoe also have COVID.
  • New committee to start advising on vaccine rollout includes Muskoka rep.
  • First wave of local COVID was mostly women, while the second wave is predominantly men. Gardner said that may be because initially it hit LTCs, while now it’s more in the workplace.


  • Ontario reports 2,903 cases and 41 deaths; Toronto 837, York 249, Peel 545, Niagara Region 246, Water Region 166 and Windsor-Essex 158.
  • Quebec 1,934 and 47 deaths; Manitoba 92 cases and 8 deaths.
  • CBC says Durham couple with U.K. COVID variant didn’t report links to traveller from U.K.
  • Nursing association investigating two nurses who went to riotous Trump rally in Washington, D.C., last Wednesday with organization that falsely claims COVID is fraud.

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