The health unit reports 72 new COVID-19 cases across Simcoe Muskoka on Thursday, plus one new virus-related death.
According to the health unit, a man 65 to 79 from Simcoe County died on Wednesday. The health unit says his death is related to the COVID-19 outbreak at Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre in Barrie.
The health unit confirmed on Thursday that another staff member in the integrated stroke and rehabilitation unit at the Barrie hospital tested positive for the coronavirus, where eight patients and eight staff have been infected since the outbreak was declared on Jan. 9.
To date, the health unit has recorded 82 deaths with the coronavirus. While most of the deaths seem to be happening to those over 65, the health unit reports people in the 18 to 34 age group continue to have the highest rate of infection.
There are 1,212 active cases, including 34 infected people hospitalized.
The health unit lists nine long-term care or retirement homes with an outbreak, including Roberta Place in Barrie, which has now infected 43 residents and 18 staff members. Two residents have died since becoming infected.
The province's new stay-at-home order took effect Thursday with hopes of curbing the spread of the virus. Police will be able to issue a fine to anyone found breaking the rules. The order requires everyone to remain home for all but essential purposes.
Premier Doug Ford has urged people to use their "best judgment" in deciding whether to go out while the order is in place over the next 28 days.
The Simcoe Muskoka health unit projects that if the cases don't start to go down, the region could see more than 100 infections each day by the first week of February.
"Approximately half of all new infections in January with a known cause were acquired from close contact with a confirmed positive case," states the health unit. However, it reports that roughly one-quarter of people who caught the virus from within the community have no known source of infection.
There have been 9,752 doses of the vaccine given across Simcoe Muskoka, mainly to health-care workers in hospitals and seniors' homes. The health unit says nearly 30 per cent of the region's long-term care residents have received their first dose of the vaccine.
The County of Simcoe said the first round of vaccinations at its long-term care homes would be completed this weekend, with residents at Simcoe Manor and Trillium Manor receiving their vaccines.
Meanwhile, the province reported an increase in cases Thursday, with 3,326 new infections.
The province reports that most of Thursday's cases were found in Ontario's hotspots, York Region, Toronto, Peel Region and Windsor-Essex.
There were 62 virus-related deaths across Ontario on Thursday, bringing the province's death toll to 5,189.