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COVID-19's first (potential) Ontario victim died six days ago

Man who died was close contact of another COVID-19 confirmed case

The man who is potentially Ontario's first COVID-19 related fatality died on March 11 in hospital. 

In a statement released by Ontario's medical officer of health, David Williams, the province confirmed the man was 77 and died at Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH). He was a "close contact" of another positive case of COVID-19. 

A COVID-19 test for the deceased man came back positive after his death. 

"This death is further evidence of the increasing seriousness of the situation we are in, which is why the province has been taking decisive steps to manage the spread of COVID-19 in Ontario," stated the medical officer. "It is now more important than ever that we all take steps to reduce opportunities for transmission." 

A statement from the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit offered condolences to the man's family. 

"RVH has carefully tracked the patient's movements throughout the health centre and has notified staff and physicians as appropriate," stated RVH President and CEO Janice Skot. "RVH is well prepared to respond to COVID-19 cases and take all precautions necessary to keep our team, our patients, and the community safe." 

According to earlier information provided by the health unit, the case connected to this was a positive COVID-19 test in an Alberta man in his 70s visiting Barrie. The Alberta man reportedly had close contact with the other man who died. The Alberta man was hospitalized on March 11, the same day the other man died at RVH. The health unit reported the positive test on March 15.

The Alberta man stayed at the Hampton Inn in Barrie from March 5 to 11 leading up to his hospitalization. 

Both the Simcoe-Muskoka District Health Unit Medical Officer of Health and RVH's president will be making further statements at a press conference today at 4 p.m. 

More to come.

Erika Engel

About the Author: Erika Engel

Erika regularly covers all things news in Collingwood as a reporter, photographer and community editor.
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