Cluster of 11 COVID cases attributed to group visiting Muskoka complex

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The group of 30 involved more than one family and there was evidence that they did not always practice physical distancing, a health unit official noted.

The region’s health unit is investigating a cluster of 11 COVID-19 cases, all discovered among a group that visited a resort town in Muskoka.

According to Dr. Charles Gardner, medical officer of health with the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, a group of about 30 people (several families) stayed at the Deerhurst Resort and dined at the Three Guys and a Stove in Huntsville. At the time, none of the group was symptomatic.

Returning to their homes outside the Simcoe-Muskoka region, some of them have started to experience symptoms and 11 people in the group have now tested positive for COVID-19.

Deerhurst and Three Guys and a Stove have made the decision to declare themselves publicly as places visited by the group.

The health unit typically does not reveal the names of businesses that people have visited before testing positive for COVID-19. Gardner did not identify the health units that reported the cases.

Those tested outside of the region and their health unit or health units contacted the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit following contact tracing once it was discovered that the group had stayed in the same resort.

According to Gardner, the group stayed at the resort over the Civic Holiday long weekend (Aug 1-3).

So far, the health unit has not identified any cases in Simcoe-Muskoka related to the group’s stay in the area.

The group of 30 included more than one family and there was evidence that they did not always practice physical distancing.

“There is potential for transmission, even in Muskoka, even when our rates are very low,” said Dr. Gardner. “People must continue to enforce security measures.”

Gardner reiterated the importance of an exclusive social circle of no more than 10 people and maintaining physical distance while meeting anyone outside of your circle.

“When you get together with people beyond your social circle, and you definitely can, you have to keep those two feet away,” Gardner said. “If people make compromises, they increase the risk of transmission between them.”

As with other places the group may have been, Gardner said the health unit is focusing its investigation and contact tracing on prolonged and close exposure. Instances, such as someone passing them on the street, cannot be tracked.

The health unit is still investigating the two businesses where the group visited. Three Guys and a Stove has announced that the restaurant and food truck will be closed until the results of staff tests are returned.



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