Mark Clairmont | MuskokaTODAY.com

SIMCOE-MUSKOKA — Almost 60 more regional COVID cases are being reported today than yesterday — but where they are and when they were remains a closely guarded secret by the province through its local public health unit.

All it’s safe to assume it that Omicron is omnipresent in everyday life.

As if you needed reminder (some do).

Caveat emptor — buyer beware when out shopping.

As we reported yesterday, data disclosure has severely been restricted due it the “reliability” of testing numbers, says the head of the health unit, Dr. Charles Gardner.

To that end 358 new cases were reported Thursday by the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU).

The increase is almost five dozen more than the 300 — also unidentified geographically — released yesterday.

See some more interesting data — figures and charts below from today — that we’ve been able extract from the health unit website.

Tamsen Tillson, of Bracebridge, also can’t fathom the changes in light of what’s going on and her personal experience over the holidays.

“I believe the infection numbers are grossly under-reported.

“I got a positive rapid test on Dec. 30 and at the hospital they said they did not know if it would be reported to the health unit. I know several other people who probably had it but they never got tested.

“With the Omicron variant, I believe a focus on hospital admissions and ICU admissions —  and sadly deaths — will over time give us a better idea.”

She added: “I had a positive rapid test plus symptoms. The nurse said there are very few false positives. At that point (Dec. 30) they had stopped doing confirmation tests. She told me to go home and isolate for five days.

“I am not an expert, but I think that right now, if you have cold symptoms, you probably have COVID. Plus there are probably lots of people who have it who have no symptoms at all.”

Tillson said: “Certainly we are not all on the same page. But that’s understandable, and we need to be kinder to ourselves — and each other — about that.

“Even at the hospital, the nurse said that things are changing so quickly that it’s hard for them to keep up.

As for schools opening next week, Tillson said she “didn’t feel well informed enough to make this call” about going back.

“I have a high school-aged daughter who is vaccinated and although she is doing OK online, she would really like to go back to school.

“If the school board calls them back she’ll go back.”

Will schools make it to spring break?

“I hope so,” said Tillson.

Meanwhile, hospitalizations dropped under 30 to 27 today with no new admittances overnight — and no reported deaths.

There were, however, 201 vaccinated cases today, 43 unvaccinated and 6 partially vaccinated.

THURSDAY: COVID P.H.0. NUMBERS: … 294 CASES IN SIMCOE-MUSKOKA (349 YESTERDAY) … ONTARIO 9,909 AND 35 DEATHS (9,783-46) … TORONTO 1,805 (1,675) YORK 1,001 (964), PEEL 1,365 (1,060) … NORTH BAY-PARRY SOUND 32 (43) … PORCUPINE 34 (38) … KINGSTON 54 (106) … HALTON 436 (434) …

Police K9 vehicles filled the parking lot at the Gravenhurst legion today, where some kind of training was underway.


  • 27,047 cases to date
  • 1,285 cases this week
  • 3,035 last week (Jan. 2), which was 14% lower than the 3,545 cases the week of Dec. 26
  • From Dec. 22 there have been 8,360 confirmed COVID-19 cases among vaccinated individuals
  • 6 deaths in January, 10 in December
  • From Nov. 14 to Jan. 12 the rate of COVID-19 hospitalizations among the unvaccinated vaccine-eligible Simcoe Muskoka population is two times higher than it is for fully vaccinated population; and the rate of COVID-19 ICU admissions is 22 times higher and the rate of deaths is 8 times higher.
  • 209 Omicron cases
  • 1,493 suspected Omicron
  • 1,171,904 vaccines have been administered
  • 488,569 residents have received at least one vaccine, which represents 81% of the total population
  • 85% of the population 5+ have had at least one vaccine; including 82% of youth 12 to 17 years of age
  • 42% of children 5 to 11 have also received at least one dose of vaccine

Hospitalizations dropped under 30 to 27 with no overnight admittances and no deaths.

Vaccine data:

  • As of January 12, 2022 Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, in partnership with the Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH), regional health sector, municipal partnerships, and local primary care teams have administered 870,213 vaccine doses which includes approximately 10,510 first doses and 5,170 second doses of AstraZeneca vaccine administered by primary care teams in Simcoe Muskoka.
  • Local pharmacies have also administered approximately 23,590 first doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine and 3,360 second doses, approximately 48,375 first doses, 77,000 second doses and 58,160 third doses of Pfizer-BioNTech (both adult and pediatric) and approximately 18,280 first doses, 51,630 second doses and 21,260 third doses of Moderna.
  • There have been 19,914 doses (including first and second doses) of the Pfizer-BioNTech Pediatric vaccine administered in Simcoe Muskoka to date.
  • 79 doses of the J&J (Janssen) COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Simcoe Muskoka to date.
  • There have been 222,628 third doses administered in Simcoe Muskoka to eligible individuals base on the provincial recommendations.
  • There have also been more than 1,150 doses administered to health care workers in South Simcoe by Southlake Regional Health Centre; however, these doses are not included in the data presented in the tables and charts below.
  • Third doses of vaccine (also referred to as a booster dose) have been offered to all eligible residents of the 30 Long-Term Care Homes in Simcoe Muskoka, with approximately 2,945 residents receiving a third does. Third doses have also been offered to most of residents of Retirement Homes in Simcoe Muskoka with approximately 3,065 residents receiving a third dose.
  • As of January 12, 2022, 488,569 (or 81%) of Simcoe Muskoka’s residents have received at least one dose of vaccine, with 456,794 (or 76%) of residents also receiving their second dose. There are currently 210,347 (35%) Simcoe Muskoka residents that have also received a third dose of vaccine. Eligibility and recommendations for third dose in Ontario are described in this document available from the Ministry of Health. In addition 18,184 (42%) Simcoe Muskoka children ages 5 to 11 years have received their first dose of vaccine.
  • Pediatric first doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine have been administered to 18,285 (72 new yesterday) Simcoe Muskoka children 5 years of age and older.
  • Approximately 85% of Simcoe Muskoka residents 5 years of age and older have received at least one dose of vaccine, 79% have received both doses and 37% have received a third dose.


These charts, above and below, show a breakdowwn of Muskoka vaccines by municipality. (SMDHU Health Stats)

Severity of cases:

  • More than 3% of COVID-19 cases have been hospitalized and 1% of COVID-19 cases have passed away.
  • The number of active ICU admissions in the month of April 2021 was the highest since the start of the pandemic. Active ICU admissions have remained near or below 5 since early July.
  • The median age of those admitted to hospital since September is 66 years, which is 11 years older than the median age of those admitted from May to August. The median age of those admitted to the ICU since September is 63 years, which is seven years older than the median age of those admitted to the ICU from May to August.
  • 81% of hospitalized COVID-19 cases have recovered. This excludes cases currently in hospital.
  • Roughly half of deaths were never hospitalized. This is due to the disproportionately large impact of COVID-19 mortality on long-term care and retirement home residents who passed away without being hospitalized.
  • Since the onset of wave 2 (October 2020) and continuing into the third wave (March 2021), a higher proportion of cases required hospitalization and ICU care when compared to the first wave (March 2020-June 2020).
  • There have been six COVID-19 related deaths reported in January 2022 to date.
  • 14 of the past 15 deaths have been in adults 65 years of age and over.
  • Cases of COVID-19 hospitalized during their illness tend to remain in hospital for 7 to 14 days, and longer if admitted to ICU. This has not been updated since Omicron has become the dominant strain.
These three charts show more detailed percentages picture of the region’s immunization program en route to a goal of 90 per cent coverage.


  • Ontario reports 3,630 people in hospital with 500 in ICUs.
  • Teachers in France walked off the job today in protest over the “constant chaos” of COVID protocols.
  • Like many countries, most Germans in ICUs are unvaccinated.
  • Dutch border town residents are protesting rules that are sending shoppers into surrounding countries where restrictions are less.
  • Canadian truckers crossing back into Canada from the U.S. won’t have to be vaccinated even once or isolate starting this weekend. However, American drivers will still need to be vaccinated. About 10 per cent of the 120,000 Canadian truck drivers who bring fresh food and others goods north are unvaccinated.
  • 20 million Chinese in lockdown days before Olympics.
  • 1,000 U.S. troops deployed to six states to aid hospitals. Teams of 5-7 doctors, nurses and other health experts are in New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Michigan, Rhode Island and New Mexico.
  • Britain reduces isolation time to five days from seven.

EMAIL: news@muskokatoday.com

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