Mark Clairmont | MuskokaTODAY.com
SIMCOE-MUSKOKA — As COVID hits more young people and forces the province to move back to lockdown tomorrow night, two Muskokans aged 18-34 are among 75 regional cases today.
The Gravenhurst man is under investigation and the Muskoka Lakes woman had close contact.
Both were reported to the health unit Wednesday March 31, with first incidents the day before and two days before reciprocally.
As well, an earlier Bracebridge case was transferred to a different Public Health Unit or was considered a duplicate record.
The 75 cases bring to 200 this week’s total, down from 307 last week and 261 the week before.
This as the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) says “some” of its vaccination clinic locations are fully booked to April 17.
It says the Ministry of Health will upload a new batch of appointments to the booking site when the health unit gets confirmation of the number of doses in their next delivery.
They expect that “in the coming days,” and say they “will notify you and if you are eligible you may continue to book your appointment.”
Meanwhile, Premier Doug Ford “pulled the emergency brake” again this afternoon prompting a 28-day provincewide lockdown effective 12:01 a.m. Saturday.
The “shutdown,” which he said will affect almost 15 million Ontarians in all 34 health units, comes with 2,557 cases and 23 deaths reported today.
It does not include a stay-at-home order or a schools closure. And the spring break will continue as planned for the week of April 12.
For most businesses it’s similar to the one that
And some retail businesses will be able to stay open to allow a few customers inside.
The province says it is imposing a provincewide emergency brake as a result of an “alarming surge” in case numbers and COVID-19 hospitalizations across the province.
A provincial release after this afternoon’s announcement, says key indicators and latest modelling March 26-28 show case rates have increased by 7.7 per cent to 101.1 cases per 100,000 people.
And COVID- related ICU admissions are already over the peak of wave two and hospitals in regional hotspots will need to further ramp down scheduled surgeries. They are projected to exceed 650 beds in a few weeks.
They say the increases are driven by variants that are transmitted easily and result in a higher risk of death and hospitalization, including in younger populations.
Measures include, but are not limited to:
- Prohibiting indoor organized public events and social gatherings and limiting the capacity for outdoor organized public events or social gatherings to a 5-person maximum, except for gatherings with members of the same household (the people you live with) or gatherings of members of one household and one other person from another household who lives alone.
- Restricting in-person shopping in all retail settings, including a 50 per cent capacity limit for supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, indoor farmers’ markets, other stores that primarily sell food and pharmacies, and 25 per cent for all other retail including big box stores, along with other public health and workplace safety measures;
- Prohibiting personal care services;
- Prohibiting indoor and outdoor dining. Restaurants, bars and other food or drink establishments will be permitted to operate by take-out, drive-through, and delivery only;
- Prohibiting the use of facilities for indoor or outdoor sports and recreational fitness (e.g., gyms) with very limited exceptions;
- Requiring day camps to close; and,
- Limiting capacity at weddings, funerals, and religious services, rites or ceremonies to 15 per cent occupancy per room indoors, and to the number of individuals that can maintain two metres of physical distance outdoors. This does not include social gatherings associated with these services such as receptions, which are not permitted indoors and are limited to five people outdoors.
- Chief Medical Officer of Health David Williams urges all Ontarians to limit trips outside the home to necessities such as food, medication, medical appointments, supporting vulnerable community y members, or exercising outdoors with members of their household. Employers in all industries should make every effort to allow employees to work from home.
The province says the current COVID-19 Response Framework: Keeping Ontario Safe and Open, will be paused when the provincewide emergency brake comes into effect. And the impacts of these time-limited measures will be evaluated throughout the next four weeks to determine if it is safe to lift any restrictions or if they need to be extended.
Also, during the emergency shutdown, schools will remain open for in-person learning with strict safety measures in place.
In order to support working families, child care will remain open during the shutdown. Child care settings will continue to adhere to stringent health and safety measures so that they remain safe places for children and staff.
HEALTH UNIT HIGHLIGHTS:
- 913 UK variants have now been detected, 18 from Brazil, 1 from South Africa and 367 cases are awaiting second VOC confirmation.
- 97,556 Pfizer doses have been administered, including more than 18,000 who have received both doses.
- Nearly 4,500 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine have also been administered to adults 60-64 years and nearly 2,000 doses of Moderna vaccine have also been administered.
- There 75 cases bring to 200 this week’s cases, down from 307 last week and 261 the week before.
IN OTHER COVID NEWS …
- Toronto reports 743 cases (down from 785 Wednesday). Peel was up to 484 from 433 and York was also up more than a hundred in going from 229 to 433. York jumped to 311 from 222.
- Ontario’s science advisory table recommended stay-at-home order.
- Quebec reports 1,271 cases and 9 deaths, Manitoba 59 and 2 deaths.
- Ontario’s 7-day rate is now 2,341 with COVID testing positivity rate of 4.8 after 49,558 tests yesterday.
- 15 per cent of Canadians have had at least one vaccine, says the Public Health Agency of Canada.
- Alberta reports 875 cases, 322 variants and 292 hospitalizations.
MUSKOKA TODAY RECAP …
THURSDAY: COVID BY THE NUMBERS … GRAVENHURST MAN, MUSKOKA LAKES WOMAN, BOTH 18-34, AMONG 75 POSITIVE TESTS IN SIMCOE-MUSKOKA TODAY … ONTARIO REPORTS 2,557 CASES, 23 DEATHS … TORONTO 743, YORK 311, PEEL 484, SUDBURY 13, NORTH BAY-PARRY SOUND 3, PETERBOROUGH 9 … ONTARIO GOING IN TO 4-WEEK LOCKDOWN AT MIDNIGHT FRIDAY DUE TO MORE DANGEROUS VARIANT SPREAD … SOME NON-ESSENTIAL RETAIL CAN REMAIN OPEN WITH 25 PER CENT CAPACITY, BUT MOST OTHER BUSINESSES HAVE TO SHUT DOWN INCLUDING INDOOR AND OUTDOOR DINING SOBER NUMBERS. TAKEOUT STILL ALLOWED … CRITICS SAY VACCINE SHOULD HAVE BEEN FOCUSSED MORE ON POTENTIAL YOUNGER SPREADERS AND NOT THOSE OLDER WHO MAY BE MORE COMPLIANT WITH RETRICTION RULES … QUEBEC REPORTS 1,271 CASES … MANITOBA 57 AND 2 DEATHS … ‘IT’S INSANE’ TODAY AS PEOPLE CALL 3 PHARMACIES IN GRAVENHURST, BRACEBRIDGE, HUNTSVLLE TO GET ASTRAZENECA — BUT THEY DON’T HAVE IT YET DESPITE PROVINCIAL ANNOUNCEMENT …
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