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Partners and Municipalities

Municipalities, organizations and partners in Simcoe and Muskoka continue to play an important role in limiting the spread of COVID-19 in our communities. We encourage you to review your procedures and take the necessary steps to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection for staff members, clients and community members.

To help inform the protective steps taken to reduce the risk of transmission and severe illness due to COVID-19, refer to the current COVID-19 Community Risk Level

In addition to COVID-19, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and seasonal influenza are on the rise in our communities. At this time, it is very important that everyone continues to use multiple layers of protection to reduce the risk of becoming sick and to protect those around us, especially those most vulnerable.

Please see a letter from Dr. Charles Gardner, Medical Officer of Health re: High Rates of Respiratory Illness (Nov. 15, 2022).

Public Health Guidance

Shelter services are designed to provide persons experiencing homelessness immediate access to a safe and temporary place while they work to find housing.

The following information is intended to help shelter service providers reduce the risk of exposure to illnesses including COVID-19.

Congregate Living Settings

Congregate living settings refer to a range of facilities where people (not related to each other) live or stay overnight and use shared spaces. For general infection prevention and control resources click here.

Resources for those working on COVID-19 prevention and response in congregate living settings:

Any of the following forms submitted to the health unit should be sent via secure file transfer. To request a secure file transfer, contact the congregate setting phoneline at 1-877-721-7520 ext. 8809 providing a contact name, contact email address and agency requesting the secure file transfer.

Indirect Impacts of the Pandemic - Tools for Planning

Early in the pandemic, Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) conducted a situational assessment to understand the indirect impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic public health measures on population health and well-being. The situational assessment report Mitigating Harms of COVID-19 Public Health Measures outlined key findings, mitigation strategies and recommendations.  Based on the report’s recommendation to continue surveillance of the pandemic’s impact on various domains of population health and health equity, the health unit developed the Indirect Impacts Surveillance Dashboard and implemented local COVID-19 impact surveys. Partners and municipalities are invited to review the information and consider it in priority setting and planning through future pandemic waves, recovery and beyond. The direct impacts of the pandemic have also been very substantial and continue to be tracked on SMDHU’s COVID-19 HealthSTATS pages.

The situational assessment report titled “Mitigating Harms of COVID-19 Public Health Measures” brought together key findings, mitigation strategies and recommendations from the reports completed as part of the situational assessment including an epidemiological data summary, local environmental scan, and literature reviews conducted by SMDHU and a number of other public health partners.


SMDHU reports


Reports by other public health partners


* Information from these reports were not included in the Mitigating Harms of COVID-19 Public Health Measures Situational Assessment Report due to timing.

 Indirect Impacts Surveillance Dashboard2

An interactive tool presenting priority health status indicators related to the indirect impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on health and health equity of residents of Simcoe and Muskoka. Visit page.

The health unit conducted a COVID-19 local impact survey in 2020 and 2021 to understand the impacts of the pandemic on our residents. In the 2021 survey, 2,800 Simcoe Muskoka residents 18 years and older completed the online survey about their beliefs and behaviours specific to the pandemic, as well as pandemic-related concerns and impacts (financial, mental, physical, and social). Results and comparisons between the survey’s two data collection periods (2020 and 2021) have been posted on SMDHU’s HealthSTATS COVID-19 Local Impact Survey Results webpage.

Archived Correspondence

Archived COVID-19 correspondence can be viewed here.

Archived COVID-19 correspondence can be viewed here.



IMPORTANT NOTE: While the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit aims to provide relevant and timely information, no guarantee can be given as to the accuracy or completeness of any information provided. This guidance is not intended to nor does it provide legal advice and should not be relied upon or treated as legal advice. Users seeking legal advice should consult with a qualified legal professional. No one should act, or refrain from acting, based solely upon the materials provided in this guidance, any hypertext links or other general information without first seeking appropriate legal or other professional advice. Please visit the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit website regularly for updates and additional guidance.

Page last updated: November 21, 2022

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