The Middlesex-London Health Unit was notified this morning of a death related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Health Unit learned that a man in his 70s who had returned from a trip to Portugal earlier this month passed away last night. The Health Unit had been following up with this individual since shortly after he was admitted to care at London Health Sciences Centre and tested positive for COVID-19 on March 19th.
Health Unit staff began their investigation immediately 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 are asking everyone to recognize the seriousness of this virus and how important it is to limit its spread,” says Dr. Chris Mackie, Medical Officer of Health and CEO of the Middlesex-London Health Unit. “Please exercise physical distancing, limit any 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.”
The Health Unit recommends the following actions to not only help prevent the spread of novel coronavirus/COVID-19 infections:
- Stay at least six feet away from others (physical distancing)
- Avoid all non-essential gatherings of any size
- Stay home from work and other activities, whether you have symptoms or not
- Self-isolate at home for 14 days if you have travelled outside of Canada recently (this is now mandatory)
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 15-20 seconds or use a waterless hand sanitizer with at least 70 percent alcohol content.
- Cover coughs and/or sneezes with your sleeve or cough into your elbow.
- Clean high-touch areas frequently.
The Health Unit continues to monitor this developing situation actively, in collaboration with national and provincial health agencies, as well as local stakeholders, including hospitals and community partners. The guidance for testing no longer considers country of travel; instead it focuses on prioritization of those at highest risk.
For more information about COVID-19, please visit www.healthunit.com/novel-coronavirus or www.ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus.
Dan Flaherty, Communications Manager, Middlesex-London Health Unit
519-663-5317 ext. 2469 or 519-617-0570 (cell)
Dr. Chris Mackie, Medical Officer of Health and CEO, Middlesex-London Health Unit