Simcoe Muskoka reports highest ever weekend COVID case count

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit is reporting the highest three-day total of COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began.

Health officials say 367 people tested positive for the virus since their last update on Friday.

Dr. Sohail Gandhi, past president of the Ontario Medical Association, points to variants and family gatherings for the spike.

"There just were some gatherings over the (Easter) long weekend, that despite our best efforts still happened," Gandhi said.

The region has now seen 8,779 infections since the pandemic began. More than a thousand cases are active, and more than half are variants of concern.

Two more Simcoe County seniors with COVID-19 died Friday.

One is a woman between the ages of 65 and 79. A man in the same age bracket with a case related to a real estate rental and leasing outbreak has also died.

The region has now seen 8,779 infections since the pandemic began. More than a thousand cases are considered to be active, and more than half are variants of concern.

Forty-one people with COVID-19 are in Simcoe Muskoka hospitals, five more than on Friday.

Local hospitals are cancelling elective and non-urgent surgeries in the face of rising cases and space concerns.

The Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH) in Barrie has cancelled 146 surgeries this week along. Their surgical backlog is more than 2,500.

Orillia Soldiers' Memorial Hospital's President and CEO says the facility has added 25 inpatient beds, but it hasn't been enough.

"For the past few weeks, every bed has been occupied," Carmine Stumpo said Monday. "We are working tirelessly to provide effective care and help people get back home where they want to be, but everything right now seems to take a little bit longer."