Mark Clairmont | MuskokaTODAY.com

SIMCOE-MUSKOKA — As Ontario prepares to move to Stage 3 of its recovery next Friday, Simcoe and Muskoka are each reporting just one COVID case today.

The province is making the move five days ahead of the originally scheduled opening July 21. That’s 16 days after the Stage 2 opening on June 30.

The Muskoka case is a Huntsville woman, aged 35-44, who is under investigation after being reported yesterday with a first episode the day before.

The other person testing positive was a younger woman 18-34, who is also under investigation after being reported and having her first episode yesterday.

They are among 183 cases and 9 deaths province-wide. That’s the fewest since Sept. 6. Yesterday there were 210 cases and 4 deaths.

Today Public Health Ontario shows Toronto accounted for 22 (18) cases, York 7 (4), Peel 24 (23), North Bay-Parry Sound 0 (1), Porcupine 5 (2) and Simcoe-Muskoka 2 (5).

What Stage 3 means:

Indoor dining — with two-metre spacing between tables

Outdoor events with up to 100 people

Outdoor gatherings with up to 25 people, including wedding and funerals

Masks must still be worn indoors through September

Part of the reason, the province says, is that more than 75 per cent of Ontarians are now vaccinated and 25 per cent doubly vaxxed.

And if all goes according to plan a full re-opening could happy Sept. 6

According to a government release, Ontario will stay in stage 3 for at least three weeks and “until 80 per cent of the eligible population aged 12 and over has received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 75 per cent have received their second, with no public health unit having less than 70 per cent of their population fully vaccinated.”

It adds: “Upon meeting these thresholds, the vast majority of public health and workplace safety measures, including capacity limits for indoor and outdoor settings and limits for social gatherings, will be lifted.”

As of 12:01 a.m. July 16 the following guidelines apply.


  • 12,316 cases to date
  • 18 new cases this week, 37 last week, which was 10% lower than 41 the week before.
  • 1 death in July, 6 in June, 18 in May, 25 in April, 12 in March
  • 3,997 Alpha variants, 164 Gamma, 33 Beta, 74 Delta
  • 677 cases await confirmation of variant
  • 633,900+ vaccines have been administered in Simcoe Muskoka
  • 400,150+ residents have received their first dose of vaccine, which represents 66% of the population.
  • 77% of adults 18+ have had at least one vaccine
  • 60% of youth 12 to 17 have had their first vaccine
Improving numbers like these are encouraging the province to open up to stage 3 next Friday.


  • U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says vaccinated teachers and students don’t require masks in school. Schools should operate on the honour system and the CDC isn’t advising schools to require vaccines or proof thereof.
  • 231,000 Canadian jobs added in June, dropping jobless rate to 7.8%.
  • Tokyo Olympic officials hope to allow spectators afterwards at Paralympics.
A few months ago a walk in the park with your dog was questionable. Today Annie enjoys some training time with her master at Gull Lake Rotary Park with looser restrictions coming next Friday and a possible full re-opening Sept. 6.

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