Mark Clairmont |

SIMCOE-MUSKOKA — The devastating COVID outbreak at a Barrie LTC has driven cases to triple digits today.

And no vaccines were distributed yesterday.

The health unit reports 112 cases — all in the Simcoe and none in Muskoka.

They date back a week to Jan. 14.

The Roberta Place outbreak, which has left 27 dead, 124 residents and 81 staff infected.

And at least a half dozen with a variant strain.

The 7 latest deaths bring to 108 the number of people in Simcoe-Muskoka (105-3) who have died of the coronavirus coming up to almost a year now.

Dr. Colin Lee — Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit’s (SMDHU) deputy medical officer of health — blamed it for the rapid spread in a late afternoon briefing Thursday.

This as provincial numbers returned above 2,600 Friday.

Province-wide there were 87 deaths and 2,662 cases

Toronto saw a significant drop to 779, while Peel stayed up at 542 and York Region was steady again at 228. Windsor-Essex was down to 118 after weeks higher.

In Quebec 1,631 cases were reported with 88 deaths two weeks after their nightly curfew.


The health unit says 14,583 doses of the Pfizer vaccine have gone out to mainly health-care workers and community and family essential care helpers in local hospitals, long-term care and retirement homes. This includes 927 individuals who have received both doses.

In addition, 2,845 (or 89%) long-term care residents have received their first dose.

They claim there have been 345 new cases reported to the health unit for the current week. And that there were 449 new cases reported to the health unit last week (week of Jan. 10), which is reportedly lower than the 495 cases reported for the week of Jan. 3.


Canada-wide, 738,864 (or 80 per cent) of the national supply of vaccines have been distributed by provincial health agencies.

B.C. is spelling out what most provinces will likely be doing with their vaccine, saying they will provide it to all the vulnerable aged citizens by April and younger people after that.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford is acting angrily to shortages by Pfizer.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is reassuring Canadians that the vaccine delays are temporary until next month.

Muskoka ended the week without any new cases of COVID as local residents appear to have been vigilant in their mask-wearing and staying home mostly except for buying essentials like groceries, as Clayton Rutan was doing in Gravenhurst.

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