Mark Clairmont |

SIMCOE-MUSOKA — A Huntsville woman is among today’s 32 reported cases of COVID in Simcoe-Muskoka.

She is aged 45-64, says the health unit, and had close contact with someone else with the virus. She discovered symptoms Feb. 13 and her case was first reported to the Simcoe-Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) yesterday, Thursday Feb. 18.

Public Health Ontario reported just 23 cases in the region, as did the province.

They bring to 6,099 the total cases says the health unit.

The health unit also reports 2 more deaths, bringing that number to 184 they say.

It also confirmed 3 new UK variant cases (totalling 171) and 5 new other suspected cases of the same variant (totalling 158) in Simcoe-Muskoka.

As well vaccinations resumed Thursday with 1,306 cases for a total now of 30,369.

They were among 1,150 COVID cases Ontario is reporting with 47 more deaths.

Meanwhile in North Bay Parry Sound where they had just 3 new cases yesterday and two the day before, the province is keeping the region in lockdown another two weeks until at least March 8.

Health Minister Christine Elliott said today that it’s because of a rise in cases per 100,000 and that a case of the UK variant in Kapuskasing is a threat to health services’ ability to cope if there is a larger outbreak.


  • To date 171 local cases have been tested positive for the COVID-19 variant of concern UK B.1.1.7 and an additional 158 cases have screened positive (awaiting confirmatory testing)
  • Over 30,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Simcoe Muskoka, mainly to health care workers in local hospitals, long-term care and retirement homes. This includes more than 13,600 individuals that have received both of the required doses of the vaccine. In addition, 2,942 (or 92%) long-term care residents and 2,531 (or 69%) retirement home residents have received their first dose.
  • There have been 153 new cases reported to the health unit for the current week. There were 210 new cases reported to the health unit last week (week of February 7th), approximately 25% lower than the 284 cases reported for the week of January 31st.


  • Toronto reports 376, Peel 264 and York 108.
  • Quebec said 800 people tested positive with one death. Manitoba says it has had 139 and 3 new variant cases.
  • Newfoundland and Labrador had reported 60 new cases today.
  • Canada-wide there are now 660 variant reports.
  • Ottawa is extending pandemic benefits including for sickness and CRB.
  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced at the G7 meetings that he will give $75 to the COVAX fund that ensures all countries have access to vaccines.
  • Vaccines may be quite effective with just one dose health officials are beginning to discover; and Pfizer may be able to store it at lower temperatures thus possibly aiding distribution.
  • Bad weather continues to hamper vaccine distribution in some U.S. states.
Simcoe-Muskoka ended the week with 153 COVID cases and 171 confirmed variant cases.
Restrictions in the red zone still mean wearing a mask in stores, but a little more leniency on gatherings.

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