Eight new coronavirus cases confirmed in Simcoe Muskoka, local total at 600

Premier Doug Ford said on Friday that Ontario would not introduce a provincial order mandating that medical masks be made mandatory amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, adding that while he supports municipalities that want to make it mandatory to wear masks, a province-wide order couldn’t be enforced.

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit has confirmed eight new cases of the novel coronavirus since Friday, bringing the local total number of cases to 600, including 36 deaths.

The new cases are in Barrie, Bradford, Innisfil, Midland, New Tecumseth and Tay Township, Ont., involving people ranging in age groups from 18 to 79.

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One Barrie case is a result of close contact with another positive COVID-19 case, while another is travel-related. The cases in Innisfil and Tay Township are both community-acquired, while the case in New Tecumseth is workplace-related.

The source of infection for the remainder three cases is still under investigation.

Of the Simcoe Muskoka health unit’s total cases, 491 people have recovered, and five people remain in hospital. Of all cases, about 18 per cent have been related to local institutional outbreaks.

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There have been COVID-19 outbreaks in nine long-term care facilities, three retirement homes and one group home, as well as at three workplaces across the region.

According to the health unit, most of its coronavirus cases are from the Barrie and South Simcoe areas.

On Monday, Ontario reported 257 new coronavirus cases, bringing the provincial total to 34,911, including 2,665 deaths. Of Monday’s new cases, 177 are recorded in the Windsor-Essex area.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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