COVID-19: Simcoe Muskoka identified as Delta variant hotspot, 2nd vaccine doses accelerated

WATCH: People who live in areas including Toronto, Peel, York, Halton and Waterloo who got their first dose on or before May 9 are now eligible to book their second dose. As Marianne Dimain reports, it’s a move to protect Ontarians from the highly transmissible Delta variant.

Provincial officials added the Simcoe Muskoka region to its list of COVID-19 Delta variant hotspots on Thursday and announced the administration of second vaccine doses will be accelerated as a result.

As of June 23 at 8 a.m., those who received their first dose of an mRNA vaccine and live in a Delta hotspot will be eligible to rebook their second dose at a shortened interval.

Read more:
Ontario adds 3 regions to list of COVID-19 Delta hot spots, accelerates 2nd dose vaccine bookings

As of Thursday, 18 people in Simcoe Muskoka have tested positive for the Delta COVID-19 variant. An additional 671 people have also screened positive for a variant of concern, although testing is still underway to determine the exact variant strain.

Simcoe Muskoka has also reported a total of 4,833 variant cases of concern, 87 of which are active cases.

There’s also been 62.7 per cent of the population that’s been immunized with a first COVID-19 vaccine dose, while 13 per cent of the population has been inoculated with a second dose.

On Thursday, officials also identified Hamilton and Durham Region as Delta variant hotspots, joining Toronto, Peel, Halton, Porcupine, Waterloo, Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph and York.

Read more:
Order issued for Simcoe County nursing home found with ‘widespread’ non-compliance

Last week, Ontario announced that those in Delta hot spots were eligible to get an earlier second vaccine dose if they received a first shot on or before May 9.

Starting the week of June 28, officials said all Ontarians age 18-plus who received an mRNA vaccine will be eligible to book their second dose

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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