34 new coronavirus cases confirmed in Simcoe Muskoka

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit confirmed 34 new cases of the novel coronavirus in the region on Wednesday, bringing the local total case count up to 6,554, including 189 deaths.

Twenty-one of Wednesday’s news cases are in Barrie, while three are in Tay Township, two are in Bradford and two are in Essa.

Read more: Ontario reports 17 more COVID-19 deaths as total surpasses 7,000 since start of pandemic

The rest of the new cases are in Collingwood, Clearview Innisfil, New Tecumseth, Orillia and Penetanguishene.

Thirteen of the new cases are a result of close contact with another positive COVID-19 case, while two are community-acquired and two are outbreak-related.

The rest of the new cases are still under investigation.

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On Wednesday, the health unit also confirmed 14 new cases of the B.1.1.7 variant, which was first discovered in the U.K. and is believed to be up to 70 per cent more contagious than earlier strains, as well as 26 additional people who’ve screened positive for a “variant of concern.” Testing is still underway to determine the exact variant for the 26 individuals.

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In total, local public health has confirmed 205 total cases of the B.1.1.7 variant and 378 total cases of a variant of concern.

Read more: COVID-19 vaccine clinics open across Simcoe Muskoka as lockdown takes effect

On Tuesday, 1,648 coronavirus vaccine doses were administered in the region, bringing the total number of doses given up to 43,439.

Of the region’s total 6,554 COVID-19 cases, 90 per cent — or 5,880 — have recovered, while 18 people are in hospital.

There are also currently 29 coronavirus outbreaks in the region — at 14 workplaces, 10 institutional settings, three educational settings and two community settings.

On Wednesday, Ontario reported 958 new coronavirus cases, bringing the provincial total up to 303,763, including 7,014 deaths.

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