Rising confidence that COVID-19 cases are declining

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There is evidence of improvements in stopping the spread of COVID-19 at long term health facilities and in the communities of Simcoe Muskoka, as well as across the province, said the health unit’s medical officer of health Dr. Charles Gardner.
The number of cases at long term care facilities has peaked and is showing a decline due to all the measures taken, including the testing of all staff and residents. Gardner was also more confident this week in saying the local number of cases is not growing exponentially, and could be on the decline.
He spoke in support of the province’s approach to opening the economy, calling it a calculated risk. He said it is essential for people’s physical and mental health that there is some easing of the isolation but it will have to be done in a controlled way, with careful monitoring.
“If you look at the data the province definitely is on the decline,” said Gardner. “The reproductive number is less than one.”
He said the GTA, however, still has a high concentration of cases causing significant impacts on hospitals.
“Here, we have lower incidents. We have had a plateau or slight increase in our incidents,” said Gardner but more recently there has been a decline in cases over the last couple of weeks, from 53 new cases last week compared to 73 the week prior.
“But by no means could we say that it’s over, it comes back to that calculated risk. There is still some circulation of the virus. We still, even if we open things up, have to do it in a very careful way,” said Gardner.
The health unit is reporting a total of 441 cases, with 422 of those being in Simcoe County, while Muskoka has only 19. Seventy-three per cent of people have recovered, and 36 have died.
Clearview hasn’t had any new cases, including at Creedan Valley nursing home, where testing is complete.
Gardner said, coming soon, the health unit will be sharing more comprehensive modeling data for the regions. Data is updated daily at www.simcoemuskokahealthstats.org.

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