Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health announced the first death in the province “potentially” related to COVID-19.
Dr. David Williams said the individual was a 77-year old man who passed away on March 11 at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Barrie.
“It brings me great sadness to report a death in Ontario that is potentially related to COVID-19,” Dr. Williams said in a statement.
“This individual was a close contact of a positive case and COVID-19 was recently identified after death. The coroner’s investigation is ongoing and more will be known about the specific cause of death in the days ahead.”
Dr. Williams added: “I know all Ontario families join me in extending our heartfelt condolences to his friends, family and loved ones. I would also like to thank all the staff who provided him excellent care.”
Dr. Williams said this death is further evidence of the increasingly seriousness of the situation, which is why the province has been taking decisive steps to manage the spread of COVID-19 in Ontario.
“(On Tuesday, March 17), the Ontario government enacted a declaration of emergency closing all facilities providing indoor recreational programs, public libraries, private schools, licensed child care centres, theatres, cinemas, concert venues and bars and restaurants, except to the extent that such facilities provide takeout food and delivery,” Dr. Williams said.
“These closures are effective immediately. The declaration also prohibits organized public events of over 50 people, including parades and events and communal services within places of worship until March 31st.”
Dr. Williams added: “It is now more important than ever that we all take steps to reduce opportunities for transmission. By working together, we can make a different in this outbreak and protect those among us who are most vulnerable to COVID-19.”
Visit Ontario’s website to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19.
Chatham-Kent’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Colby has implemented increased measures to combat COVID-19. Details, here.
The World Health Organization (WHO) officially declared COVID-19 as a pandemic on Wednesday, March 11, 2020. Details, here.
For a list of local cancellations, postponement and further updates, click here.