Health unit logs 50 new COVID-19 cases across Simcoe Muskoka

The number of residents in Simcoe Muskoka who tested positive for COVID-19 jumped to 50 on Wednesday, as the health unit reports the sixth consecutive week of increased case counts.

Of those positive cases listed in the past 24 hours, the health unit reports 38 are unvaccinated, three partially and nine fully.

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According to health officials, there have been more COVID-19 cases reported in the region in August than in June and July combined.

There are 211 active cases, including 12 hospitalizations. The health unit said all but one COVID-19 patient was not fully vaccinated.

During a live conference on Wednesday, the Simcoe Muskoka medical officer of health said children make up 16 per cent of all cases so far in the fourth wave, compared to nine per cent in the third wave.

"This population cannot be immunized," Dr. Charles Gardner said of those born after 2009.

With schools reopening to in-person learning on Tuesday, the health unit has opened several pop-up vaccination clinics across the region to offer first and second doses to eligible residents, including at some school locations.

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Meanwhile, Gardner noted his support for Ontario's vaccine certificate plan, calling it "important and commendable."

The region's top doctor added that he would recommend Ontario's vaccine certificate to access certain non-essential services be in place for the entirety of the fourth wave.

"That could very well be for many weeks," Gardner said. "I think it's important to have this kind of control measure in place while you have a high degree of transmission happening."