Toronto, York Region report first local COVID-19-related deaths
TORONTO -- Health officials have reported the first COVID-19-related deaths in Toronto and York Region, as the total number of cases in Ontario rises to 425.
Toronto Public Health (TPH) said on Sunday that a man in his 70s was the city's first COVID-19-related death, adding in a statement that the man recently travelled to the United Kingdom.
"He was tested at a hospital in Toronto and immediately began self-isolation at home," the statement said. "He was reported to TPH by the hospital and a case investigation was completed."
Health officials said he later visited the Trillium Health Partners - Mississauga Hospital on March 14 and died Saturday.
“Today is a very sad day for us and especially the family and loved ones of the man who passed away," Toronto's Medical Officer of Health Dr.Eileen de Villa said.
"We extend our sincere condolences to the family and friends of the individual who died this weekend. I'm asking everyone again to make every effort and take every opportunity to practice social distancing. Please stay home, stay safe and take care of each other."
De Villa reported that there are currently 220 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Toronto.
Toronto Mayor John Tory said the man’s death is a “reminder that we are confronting a deadly virus.”
“I know the entire city will be saddened to learn this news and joins me in sending condolences to the loved ones of the Toronto man who has died,” he said in a statement Sunday afternoon.
“That is why it is so important that we all continue to do everything we can to stop the spread of COVID-19.”
York Region's first death
York Region reported its first COVID-19-related death shortly after, saying that a woman in her 70s died after she returned from international travel.
Dr. Karim Kurji, York Region's medical officer of health, said the Markham woman came back from Los Angeles on Saturday but had previously travelled to France and Tahiti. It is not yet known where she contracted the virus, he said.
Kurji said the woman was picked up at the airport by her son and daughter-in-law, but after arriving at her son's home, the woman collapsed.
The coroner later confirmed that the woman had COVID-19, Kurji said. Both the son and the daughter-in-law are in self-isolation, he said.
"York Region extends their deepest condolences to the family and loved ones of the individual," Kurji said. "This case speaks to the seriousness of the current situation and how as a community we need to continue working together to protect one another."
The region also reported seven newly-confirmed cases of COVID-19 earlier today, bringing the total number of cases to 44.
"There is local transmission occurring in York region," Kurji said. "It is extremely important that the messages around social distance and measures around that are really followed by our residents."
Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti is calling for the provincial and federal governments to close all non-essential businesses over COVID-19 concerns.
Province reports 48 new cases Sunday
Ontario health officials confirmed 48 new positive cases of the novel coronavirus on Sunday, and also also announced that two more people in province previously infected with the virus have since recovered, bringing the total number of recoveries to eight.
As the new patients were confirmed, officials stated that more than 8,361 people are currently under investigation for the virus and more than 17,634 people in Ontario have tested negative thus far.
- Daily breakdown: Here's what we know about the 425 cases of COVID-19 in Ontario
Among the new cases announced on Sunday, one is from Toronto, one is from eastern Ontario, one is from Waterloo, one is from Ottawa, one is from Peel Region, one is from Hamilton and one is from Windsor Essex. The 40 other cases’ locations are listed as “pending.”
Two of the new cases are travel-related, while one is linked to a close contact of a previously reported patient of the virus and the other 45 people’s means of transmission is listed as “pending.”
Six of the new patients are in self-isolation at their homes and the 42 other patients are listed as “pending.”