The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit confirmed 44 new novel coronavirus cases and three additional COVID-19 deaths on Friday, bringing the regional case count up to 5,646, including 167 deaths.
The health unit also confirmed one new case of the COVID-19 B.1.1.7. variant, which was originally discovered in the U.K., and 17 people who’ve preliminarily screened positive for a “variant of concern.” The total number of COVID-19 U.K. variant cases in the region now stands at 92, while 77 have screened positive for a “variant of concern.”
For people who’ve screened positive for a variant of concern, testing is still underway to confirm the exact variant strain.
Seventeen of Friday’s new cases are in Barrie, while six are in New Tecumseth and four are in Bradford.
The rest of the new cases are in Bracebridge, Collingwood, Essa, Huntsville, Innisfil, Midland, Muskoka Lakes, Oro-Medonte, Penetanguishene and Springwater.
Nineteen of the new cases are a result of close contact with another positive COVID-19 case, while six are community-acquired and three are outbreak-related. The rest of the new cases are all still under investigation.
So far, 19,306 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in Simcoe Muskoka. On Thursday, 504 vaccine doses were given to people across the region.
Of the health unit’s total 5,646 COVID-19 cases, 80 per cent — or 4,520 — have recovered, while 39 people remain in hospital.
On Friday, Ontario reported 1,670 new coronavirus cases, bringing the provincial total up to 275,330, including 6,438 deaths.