Mark Clairmont | MuskokaTODAY.com

SIMCOE-MUSKOKA — Five Muskoka residents are under investigation after positive COVID tests this weekend.

They are among 31 in the region since Friday — and 17 on Sunday — says the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unite (SMDHU).

Northern cases included:

  • Bracebridge woman 18-34 and Gravenhurst man, 65-79, who reported Saturday with first episodes Friday
  • Bracebridge woman, 45-64, who reported Friday with a first episode Thursday
  • Huntsville man and woman, 35-44, who reported Friday with first episodes Thursday

(*SMDHU says a previously reported Gravenhurst case was moved another health unit.)

Of the 31 cases 16 were unvaccinated and 15 fully vaccinated.

A 12th person was admitted to hospital over the weekend.

There are 171 active COVID cases in Simcoe-Muskoka.

But no new deaths.

Ten cases were resolved over the weekend.

With QR codes now available to all Ontarians — and provincial numbers down to 443 — more businesses opening news from the province is expected this week.

As of Monday 2.2 million people have been able to download the new codes, despite problems with the system.

Meanwhile, vaccinations continue this week with two more pop-up clinics nearby.

One tomorrow, Oct. 19, in Orillia at the Common Roof, 169 Front St. from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

And Friday, Oct. 22, in Port Carling at the Muskoka Lakes Public Library, 69 Joseph St. from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Local hospitals get infrastructure funding

The province is cutting cheques worth $1,297,635 this year for local hospital infrastructure upgrades, repairs and maintenance in Parry Sound-Muskoka.

The funding is part of $182.6 million previously announced  by the Health Infrastructure Renewal Fund and the Community Infrastructure Renewal Fund.

Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare will receive $885,268 and West Parry Sound Health Centre will receive $412,367.

The money “will be used to address urgent infrastructure renewal needs such as upgrades or replacements of roofs, windows, security systems, fire alarms and back-up generators,” say a provincial release today.

It adds a portion of this funding will also be dedicated to urgent projects, including those that support the health system response to COVID-19, such as upgrading HVAC systems to enhance patient and staff safety, and improving infection prevention and control measures.

Muskoka’s funds will be used at both locations.

At Huntsville they will go toward a new emergency back-up generator project, roof replacement work, and new flooring in the Intensive Care Unit, and to the creation of an additional negative pressure isolation room.

At South Muskoka generator upgrades, roof replacement work, HVAC improvements, and renovations to three point-of-care/nursing stations will receive money.


As trees shed their fall coat in preparation for another change of season, Ontarians are hoping for a better winter than last as COVID numbers were down to 373 today provincewide.


  • 13,805 cases to date
  • 17 new cases this week as of Sunday; 110 last week, which was 18% lower than the 134 cases the week of Oct. 3
  • From Dec. 22 there’ve been 346 COVID cases among vaccinated individuals.
  • 1 death in October and 5 in September
  • From Aug. 22 to Oct. 16, the rate of COVID-19 infection among the unvaccinated vaccine-eligible Simcoe Muskoka population is 10 times higher than it is for fully vaccinated population and the rate of COVID-19 hospitalizations is 23 times higher. Note that due to the smaller number of unvaccinated hospitalized cases, one or two additional hospitalized cases will noticeably change the ratio listed above.
  • 4,007 Alpha variants of concern, 168 Gamma, 34 Beta, 1,411 Delta
  • 663 cases have screened positive awaiting confirmation of VOC
  • 896,946 vaccines have been administered
  • 457,202 residents have received at least one vaccine, which represents 76% of the total population
  • 86% of those 12+ have had at least one vaccine
  • 85% of youth 12 to 17 have also received at least one vaccine

Ten COVID cases were resolved during the weekend, leaving 171 cases active.


  • The fight against mis-information sees two Ontario doctors ordered to stop giving exemptions for vaccines. Dr. Mark Trozzi, of Harrow south of Windsor, and Dr. Rochagne Kilian of Owen Sound, were reprimanded on the weekend by the Ontario College of Surgeons and Physicians.
  • 88 active school cases today include 77 kids and 11 staff. In addition a Peel school has closed seven classrooms in one school due to outbreaks.
  • Italy is caught in vaccine backlash after Friday ordering all workers to be immunized or show proof of a negative test within the past 48 hours.
  • Decorated U.S. general and former secretary of state Colin Powell has died of complications from the virus. He was 84. His family says he was doubly-vaccinated.
  • Japan has had a remarkable turnaround since the Summer Olympics. Tokyo, which in mid-August experienced 9,000 a day, is down to 100 daily now. Health experts can’t explain why.
  • The EU has given away 1 billion vaccines to the rest of the world.
  • Manitoba says anyone working with the vulnerable must be vaccinated or be fired.
  • Saskatchewan is shipping 6 patients to Ontario hospitals as it seeks ICU staff from across the country. It is also offering free rapid tests.
  • Quebec is moving to regulate private nursing care to bring the industry under provincial health authority in order to regulate workers and it practices.
  • B.C. universities, which haven’t mandated vaccines for students or staff, say they are seeking more clarity on preventative provincial health measures.
  • Some U.S. police forces are resisting vaccinations.
  • 4.9 million people worldwide have now died from the pandemic, while 241 million have been vaccinated.

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