Ontario’s Top Doctor Warns Residents About Getting ‘Casual’ With COVID-19 As Province Reports 78 New COVID-19 Cases

On Thursday afternoon, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. David Williams addressed the media saying the COVID-19 outbreak at an Ontario resort earlier this month was the result of people getting “casual” with physical distancing rules. 

According to Dr. Williams, a group of “out-of-town” residents staying at Deerhurst Resort in the Muskoka region during the August long weekend ignored both physical distancing and social bubble rules leading to the outbreak of COVID-19 in the region.

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit confirmed a group of 30 people attended the resort and the local restaurant that weekend with 11 of them subsequently testing positive for COVID-19. 

Reports from the local public health unit said that none of the people involved had symptoms while they were on the trip as they developed symptoms of COVID-19 after the trip. 

It was said that one local person from the Muskoka region had contact with the group and has been asked to self-isolate but so far there is no evidence of transmission to any area residents. 

The Chief Medical Officer of Health in Ontario warned that the pandemic is not over just yet and people across the province must continue to be vigilant. 

“We’re not out of the woods at all,” said Dr. Williams. “There are still some people who are being casual. There are still some people who are not following the public health measures.”

Dr. Williams added that these instances can have serious consequences for local businesses, which often must be closed until local public health units can investigate. 

“That’s what happens,” said the Chief Medical Officer of Health for Ontario. “That’s unfortunate. It means that some people were less than responsible and conscientious in handling things.”

Deerhurst Resort said it was able to remain open while local health officials investigated because it complied with infection control practices.

“There was no indication that the resort was unsafe for guests and staff nor that closing the resort was helpful,” the resort said in a statement.

It also said that one employee was deemed to be at risk because of contact with the group, but has subsequently tested negative for the novel coronavirus.

Ontario’s COVID-19 Update for Thursday, August 13, 2020:

According to the latest reports, Ontario reported 78 additional cases of COVID-19 as of Thursday afternoon, bringing the province’s total to 40,367 confirmed cases. 

However, Ontario’s Health Minister, Christine Elliott, said that the numbers from Toronto were not included in the provincial case count for today which as resulted in an underestimation of the count. 

“Today, Ontario is reporting 78 cases of COVID-19, a 0.2% increase — however, updated numbers from the Toronto Public Health CORES system were not available,” said the Ontario Health Minister.

The provincial report outlined that the majority of new cases came from Peel Region, which reported 19 new cases, and the Ottawa region which reported 10 new cases. 

All other public health units across Ontario reported zero or fewer than 10 new cases of the virus. 

The following is a breakdown of the total cases in Ontario by gender and age according to the latest reports:

  • 18,827 people are male — an increase of 42 cases.
  • 21,248 people are female — an increase of 36 cases.
  • 2,456 people are 19 and under — an increase of 19 cases.
  • 12,459 people are 20 to 39 — an increase of 30 cases.
  • 12,112 people are 40 to 59 — an increase of 20 cases.
  • 7,288 people are 60 to 79 — an increase of nine cases.
  • 6,047 people are 80 and over — no increase in cases.

Despite surpassing the 40,000 confirmed cases milestone, Ontario reported that 36,89 Ontarians have recovered from COVID-19 since the outbreak of the virus first began in January, resulting in a recovery rate of 90 percent of all cases to date. 

As of Thursday afternoon, Ontario has completed 2,498,266 COVID-19 tests so far and is quickly approaching the 2.5 million test milestones. 

The province reported it has completed as many as 29,626 tests on Thursday with 29,049 tests currently under investigation and awaiting results. 

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