Simcoe Muskoka logs 13 new COVID-19 cases, three elementary school outbreaks

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) reports a 35 per cent increase in COVID-19 cases for the first time in five weeks.

On Wednesday, health care workers logged 13 new infections, 12 among unvaccinated residents, including three children too young to get a vaccine.

The cases are listed in Barrie (4), Bradford (3), Innisfil (3), New Tecumseth (2), and Springwater.

One case is travel-related, one outbreak-related, one from close contact with a positive case, and four are community-acquired. The remaining are under investigation.

There are 153 active COVID-19 cases across the region, including 10 patients in hospitals - three in intensive care.

COVID-19 OUTBREAKS

Since September, the health unit has reported eight school outbreaks, all cases involving elementary students.

Currently, there are four active outbreaks, three in elementary schools, one in a group home in Simcoe County.

The region's medical officer of health said 31 per cent of all recent cases are among children related to a school outbreak.

Dr. Charles Gardner mentioned the outbreak at St. Marie of the Incarnation in Bradford has climbed to 20 infected students.

As cases increase at the Bradford school, the top doctor insisted the risk of infection is low.

"We are keeping the school open," Gardner stated, adding that most transmission is between siblings and cohorts.

On Thursday, Dr. Colin Lee, SMDHU associate medical officer of health, will host a virtual Q&A session for parents and children attending the Bradford Catholic school at 7 p.m.

Watch the live session here on CTVBarrieNews.ca

Meanwhile, Orchard Park Elementary School in Orillia now has nine confirmed cases, and W.C. Little in Barrie has four.