The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) reports 70 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday, plus another death.

Dr. Charles Gardner, SMDHU's medical officer of health, said 10 people have died in the past two weeks after becoming infected with the virus.

"A man between 45 and 64, a man between the ages of 65 and 79, a man who is over 80, a man between the ages of 65 and 79, and a woman in her eighties - all of these individuals lived in Simcoe County, none were in Muskoka," he listed.

The health unit says there are 1,277 active cases, including 26 infected patients who are hospitalized.

The region has 20 institutional outbreaks, including the ongoing situation at Georgian Bay General Hospital, which was declared on Dec. 4. Long-term care and retirement homes continue to be the hardest hit, bearing the brunt of the pandemic.

"Five are in long-term care facilities. Six are in retirement homes. One is in a hospital. Five are in congregate settings. Four being in group homes, and one being in a shelter and two in an educational setting," Gardner noted.

The SMDHU declared an outbreak at a Wasaga Beach childcare centre, Stepping Stones Child Care after a staff member tested positive.

Nearly one-third of all active cases are among those 18 to 34. The health unit says this age group has the highest infection rate since June and jumped 74 per cent in December compared to November.

Meanwhile, the health unit says more than 3,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine have been administered across the region to health care workers in local hospitals, long-term care and retirement homes.

"It's certainly important that we be able to get to those facilities to be able to vaccinate the individuals that are the most high risk in the community," the region's top doc added.

Ontario says it plans to have all long-term care residents, workers and essential caregivers vaccinated by Jan. 21.

The province says those living and working in nursing homes in Toronto, Peel Region, York Region and Windsor-Essex will be immunized by that date.

Ontario says that so far, approximately 50,000 residents have received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, while nearly 3,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine have also been administered.

The government says it has established 44 immunization sites to deliver the vaccines across the province.