Mark Clairmont | MuskokaTODAY.com
SIMCOE-MUSKOKA — Ontario’s extended lockdown announcement today comes as two girls in Gravenhurst and Bracebridge and a young man and woman in Muskoka Lakes are among 58 new cases in Simcoe-Muskoka.
Premier Doug Ford said this afternoon that to “save the summer” the stay-at-home order will remain in effect until June 2. It was to have ended May 19.
He says more contagious variants pose significant risks.
The number of cases in the province today was up to 2,759 with 31 deaths. Yesterday numbers were 2,320 and 32 deaths.
The four new Muskoka cases were:
- Bracebridge girl, 0-17, under investigation, reported May 12, first episode May 10
- Gravenhurst girl, 0-17, under investigation, reported May 12, first episode May 10
- Muskoka Lakes woman, 18-34, outbreak related, reported April 30, first episode April 29
- Muskoka Lakes man, 18-34, outbreak related, reported April 12, first episode April 12
The Simcoe-Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) also reports 3 new deaths in Simcoe yesterday.
Ford added that schools will also remain closed and that kids 12-17 and their families can start getting vaccinated May 31.
He said “We must stay vigilant to ensure our ICU numbers stay down and our hospital capacity is protected.
“If we stay the course for the next two weeks, and continue vaccinating record number of Ontarians every day, we can begin looking forward to July and August and having the summer that everyone deserves.”
They say in a release that from May 2 to 8 case rates decreased by 14.8 per cent, with the positivity rate also decreasing to 7.7 per cent compared to 8.6 per cent the previous week.
New numbers today show Ontario tested 47,638 people yesterday — with a 5.7 per cent positivity rate. To date 502,171 Ontarians have testing positive now, with 8,505 people dying.
The 7-day average is 2,730 and the province wants to get that down to below 1,000.
From May 5 to 12, the number of patients with COVID-related critical illness in intensive care has decreased from 877 to 776.
Ford said restrictions will be evaluated over the next three weeks, and outdoor recreational amenities could re-open June 2, subject to current trends continuing.
But at the beginning May 31, youth aged 12-17 and their family members who have not received a vaccine will be eligible to book an appointment to receive their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine, including at special dedicated youth and family clinics throughout the weeks of June 14 and 21.
Along with case counts up across the province, Toronto was rose to 774 (712), York 258 (157) and Peel 602 (452).
North Bay-Parry Sound also doubled its cases to 6 from 3.
This as Manitoba hit a record number of 560 cases today.
And in the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control now says masks don’t need to be worn indoors by people who have been vaccinated — as long they are not among crowds of people. This follows considerably relaxed gathering rules across Europe.
HEALTH UNIT HIGHLIGHTS:
- 11,225 cases to date
- 189 this week, 443 last week and 560 the week before
- 11 deaths in May — all in Simcoe; 25 in April and 12 in March
- 3,220 UK variants, 78 from Brazil, 17 from South Africa, 1 from India. And 705 awaiting the confirmation of type
- 250,900+ vaccines administered in Simcoe Muskoka.
- 233,800+ people living in Simcoe Muskoka have received their first dose of vaccine — more than 37.5% of the population.
IN OTHER COVID NEWS …
- Alberta Premier Jason Kenney’s United Conservative caucus isn’t united on his COVID leadership — or lack thereof — with a party revolt brewing among of his MLAs. Todd Loewen has quit as caucus chair citing Kenney as the source of the “dysfunction” that has led the province to become a negative COVID leader in North America.
- It may be cold comfort having a job and being able to work from home. But some workers really are getting too comfortable, warns the new CEO of WeWork, a real estate company offering flexible shared workspaces for businesses. Sandeep Mathrani told the Wall Street Journal yesterday least-engaged employees are “very comfortable” working from home, while those who are “uberly engaged” want to get back to the office.
- Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka are bracing for the fallout of India’s horrific surge of the coronavirus, as migrants and workers flee to neighbouring countries that are also struggling to cope with COVID. In Nepal alone test rates are 40 per cent, with 9,000 cases daily and 4,200 deaths yesterday, reports the New York Times today.
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