Mark Clairmont |

MUSKOKA — COVID’s lingering effects — with 48 cases in the region this week mean mask will remain mandatory at the two local hospitals.

Today Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare said that while requirements in other high-risk areas like public transit will expire tomorrow, Saturday June 11, hospitals in Ontario Health’s Central region, including Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare (MAHC), “have confirmed their commitment to keep patients, staff, visitors, volunteers and vendors safe through a continuation of the masking requirement within these facilities.”

They say their health experts have agreed that continued use of masking in hospital settings remains a simple and necessary safeguard.

“Masking helps prevent the most vulnerable patients from contracting COVID-19,” they said in a release this afternoon. “It can also prevent transmission of COVID-19 to health-care providers, keeping people healthy and at work. Hospitals across the province are challenged with health human resources and all efforts must be made to prevent further transmission of COVID-19 within hospitals.”

While each hospital will be responsible for its own entry and welcome procedures, when arriving at Central Region hospitals, patients and families will continue to be required to wear a mask. Masks will be provided to those who arrive without one.

They say the direction aligns with a statement provided June 8 by the Ontario Hospital Association. It recommended Chief Medical Officer of Health Kieran Moore’s order be maintained regarding mandatory masking for patients, caregivers, visitors and other members of the public in hospital settings, which was issued under the Health Protection and Promotion Act.

“Hospitals in Central Region thank the public for its continued support of our frontline health-care workers and volunteers, as our system continues to recover from the pandemic. Together, we can continue to keep our hospitals safe, so they can be there for those in need.”

This as — according to the Simcoe-Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) website today that there were 48 confirmed cases of the cornoavirus this week.

That’s almost a quarter of the 195 cases they reported last week (May 29), and 21% lower than the 248 cases the week of May 22.

There have been no new deaths in June after 22 in May, 30 in April and 25 in March.

Vaccinations statistics show 81.7 per cent of the population with one dose, 79 per cent with two and just 48.1 per cent with at least one booster shot.

There have been 45,787 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Simcoe Muskoka since COVID-19 was first identified in Canada.

As of tomorrow, check-ins at hospitals in Ontario’s central region will require everyone to wear a mask or they will be provided with one.


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