Huron Perth Public Health notified of first COVID-19 death

Huron Perth Public Health has been notified of a death in Huron Perth related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The man in his 60s had tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this month and was hospitalized at Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance (HPHA) - Stratford General Hospital site. Health Unit staff began their investigation immediately upon being notified of the man’s diagnosis and have communicated with his close contacts. All personal contacts have been in self-isolation since and continue to be monitored.

“We are deeply saddened to learn of this man’s passing and extend our sincere condolences to his family and friends. We ask everyone to recognize the seriousness of this virus and how important it is to limit its spread,” says Dr. Miriam Klassen, Medical Officer of Health for Huron Perth.

"The entire Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance team is saddened by this loss and extends heartfelt condolences to the patient’s family and loved ones,” says Andrew Williams, president and CEO of the HPHA. “In facing this tragic reality, the resolve of the HPHA Team to continue to provide compassionate and accountable care to all in need as we address this pandemic together is only strengthened."

New Cases Reported

Huron Perth Public Health received lab confirmation of seven new cases of COVID-19 over the weekend, bringing the confirmed number of positive cases to nine in Huron and Perth as of Monday, March 30.

Among the new cases are the first confirmed positive case in a long-term care home in Perth County at Hillside Manor near Sebringville. HPPH is working with the facility to perform thorough contact tracing and provide further infection control support. The resident is in self isolation and other residents who have been in close contact with the case have also been isolated. “Older adults are more at risk for severe illness due to COVID-19 and we as a community must do all we can to protect our vulnerable residents,” says Dr. Klassen.

 

Other confirmed cases reported over the weekend include:

  • Four Huron County residents: 3 isolating at home and 1 hospitalized at London Health Sciences Centre
  • Three Perth County residents: 2 isolating at home and 1 resident of Hillside Manor.

Contact tracing for these cases is in underway, with close contacts receiving guidance from HPPH.

 

“This past weekend has reinforced that we are now seeing local spread across both Huron and Perth counties, a similar pattern to what has been showing up across Ontario,” says Dr. Klassen. “Please continue to practice physical distancing, limit contact with others and only go out to buy supplies when it is necessary. What we do right now will affect how the local situation develops over the coming days and weeks.”

Going forward, Huron Perth Public Health will be posting testing data, including new confirmed cases, on its website daily and holding media briefings throughout the week.

“We remain committed to keeping our community updated and aware of the risks of COVID-19,” says Dr. Klassen. “We urge everyone to continue following public health guidance and to practice physical distancing – it may take some time, but it will work in helping to limit the spread in our community. We must, and can, protect each other’s health.”

 

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