13 Toronto health-care workers test positive for COVID-19, as city reports 1st death from outbreak

Thirteen Toronto health-care workers have tested positive for COVID-19, Toronto Public Health confirmed to CBC News on Sunday, as the city reports its first death related to a novel coronavirus outbreak.

“At this time there have been approximately 13 healthcare workers who have tested positive for COVID-19,” Dr. Michael Finkelstein, acting director, communicable disease control and associate medical officer of health told CBC News in an email.

“This number includes work settings such as hospital, community healthcare and long-term care.”

Finkelstein said that as the situation evolves, it is expected that this number will continue to change daily, adding that this is why a key component of the response is limiting virus spread by encouraging people to limit their social interactions as much as possible.

“We are doing this to protect the health and safety of all of our residents. This includes all of those that are needed to provide essential services and essential city services at this critical time,” Finkelstein said.

Man in 70s is Toronto’s 1st death related to COVID-19

Toronto Public Health officials reported Sunday that the city has recorded its first death related to COVID-19 — a man in his 70s, who had travelled to the United Kingdom.

According to a City of Toronto press release, on his return from the UK, the man was tested at a hospital in Toronto and immediately began self-isolation at home. He was reported to Toronto Public Health by the hospital and a case investigation was completed.

The man later presented at the Trillium Health Partners, a Mississauga Hospital on March 14 and died on Saturday, March 21.

“Today is a very sad day for us and especially the family and loved ones of the man who passed away,” said Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Eileen de Villa.

“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 added.


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