Mark Clairmont |

SIMCOE-MUSKOKA — After four days of cases, Muskoka finished the week with no reports of COVID-19, while Simcoe saw 34 positive tests.

The province reported 25 for the region this morning.

That’s 169 this week, according to local public health officials.

And while residents are already reporting on social media they’ve successfully made appointments for next week’s vaccine rollout, the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) reports some confusion.

Spokesperson Leslie Gordon said this afternoon “it has been brought to our attention that some people who are trying to register online for a COVID-19 immunization are being directed to go right to the link for Input Health without reviewing the STEP By STEP guide.

“We will be making adjustments to our web pages to ensure the guide is front and centre.

“We want to make sure no one misses the important information that could result in them being turned away at the clinic if they do not have the needed support information with them,” Gordon said.

She stressed “the importance of reading through the web material on the front page of our COVID-19 webpage to determine eligibility and the required information to successfully book and prepare for their immunization.”

The direct page link is

All Ontarians will have to switch to the provincial booking system March 15.

Meanwhile, she said they still don’t have details on when and exactly where the vaccines will be distributed locally.

Yesterday they announced the towns and cities where the 13 clinics will be set up.

But she said there is no word on which vaccine will be used.

Since December they’ve been using the two-dose Pfizer vaccine.

But now the Moderna vaccine is an option.

And AstraZeneca vaccine approved by Health Canada yesterday could also come in to play. Though it’s not approved in the U.S., but is in Europe.

CBC says 500,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine will arrive in Canada from India next Wednesday.

SMDHU has 280-300 fridges across the region it inspects and pharmacies can provide 165 more that they use for flu vaccines.

They say Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare has one freezer for the Pfizer vaccine.

This as the province reports 1,258 cases and 28 deaths. Toronto had 362 cases, Peel 274 and York 104.

North Bay Parry Sound had one case.


  • To date 184 local cases have been tested positive for the COVID-19 variant of concern UK B.1.1.7 and an additional 290 cases have screened positive (awaiting confirmatory testing)
  • Over 38,231 doses of the Pfizer vaccine have been administered in Simcoe Muskoka (1,021 yesterday).
  • That includes more than 15,000 who have received both of the required doses of the vaccine. In addition, 2,944 (or 92%) long-term care residents and 3,377 (or 93%) retirement home residents have received their first dose.
  • There have been 169 new cases reported to the health unit for the current week, down from 275 and 211 the previous weeks.


  • Canada Pension Plan head Mark Machin resigns after getting vaccine in Dubai while on “personal trip.” …
  • Health Canada approves AstraZeneca after Ottawa had previously agreed to buy 20 million doses.
  • U.S. colleges and universities unable to contain cases as they continue to rise.
  • Canada, which was ranked 57th in the world in rolling out the vaccine, expects to pick up the pace in the months ahead with millions of new shipments expected.
  • Quebec reports 815 cases, 11 deaths
  • Nova Scotia’s 10 cases most since Jan. 6
  • 4 cases in Newfoundland and Labrador

Gravenhurst artist Nancy Hunter says she’ll have to stick with her mask a little longer because she’s in her 50s and won’t be able to get the vaccine for a few months yet.


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