COVID cases in the region appear to be declining week-over-week, but there were more deaths in July than in June.
The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit confirmed five more deaths and six new hospitalizations since the last report on July 28.
All five of the recent deaths were Simcoe County residents, including two men and two women over 79 years old, and one man between 65 and 79 years old. One woman died on July 7, and the other four people died between July 23 and 29.
There are 12 area residents currently hospitalized because of COVID-19.
Based on the latest update, posted Aug. 2, there were 332 new COVID cases confirmed since last week. During the week of July 24, the health unit confirmed 396 new cases through lab testing, that's compared to 429 cases reported the week of July 17.
Case counts are underestimated as testing is limited.
Since the start of the pandemic, the local health unit has confirmed 48,281 cases of COVID-19, with 47,186 of those cases recovered and 534 cases ending in death.
Of the deaths reported by the health unit since March 2020, 445 were COVID-19-related, 70 deaths were not related to COVID-19 but the person tested positive, and for eight of them, the cause of death is unknown or pending.
The health unit reported 30 COVID deaths in April, 22 deaths in May, 15 deaths in June, and 22 in July. Of the last 20 deaths, all but one were seniors aged 70 or older.
To date, 86 per cent of the population aged five years old and up are fully vaccinated with two or more doses, and 18 per cent of the region’s total population (including children) is unvaccinated.
According to monitoring of the region’s hospitals by the health unit, 60 per cent of the region’s ICU beds are full and 29 per cent of the ventilator beds are occupied. Acute care occupancy is highest with 89 per cent of the beds in the region currently full.
Wastewater monitoring in Barrie, Orillia, Penetanguishene, and Midland shows COVID-19 virus DNA as present in each of the communities, but there's been no increase or decrease noted.
Anyone who has not yet received their COVID-19 vaccination or booster doses is encouraged to do so as soon as they are eligible. Information about eligibility and clinic locations is available at smdhu.org/GetVaccinated.