Q&A with Simcoe Muskoka Health Unit regarding reports of a COVID-19 death in the region

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Agatha Farmer

UPDATE: Ontario’s Ministry of Health has confirmed the first death related to COVID-19 in the province. A man in his 70s who was a patient at Royal Victoria Hospital in Barrie. CBC News is reporting that he was infected with the virus through close contact with somebody who had already tested positive. More to come at a 3 p.m. news conference.

Earlier this morning Toronto's NEWSTALK 1010 radio station tweeted the following;

Following the release of the tweet Muskoka Post interviewed Kathy Dermott from the Simcoe Muskoka Health Unit regarding the NEWSTALK 1010 report. The below is a full transcript of our interview with SMDHU.

Muskoka Post: I wanted to confirm if there was a death in Muskoka as Newstalk 1010 has reported?

Dermott: We have not had a case in Muskoka and we have not had a death in Muskoka?

Muskoka Post: Is the death in Simoce?

Dermott: We have not had a death in Simcoe Muskoka. I think the confusion is coming from a press release which we sent out on Sunday where we talked about our two new cases and specifically in that press release we mentioned a man in his 70's presented to Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre on Wed. March 11 and the patient is being treated at RVH. The individual was in close contact with a second RVH patient who died on March 11 and this situation is currently under investigation.

Muskoka Post: The patient who died on March 11 is that the patient under investigation for COVID-19?

Dermott: Yes, well we don't know so we are investigating to see if there was a connection.

Muskoka Post: So just so I get this clear; The patient who was at RVH in his 70's in Barrie who you released the info on over the weekend, he is still alive but a patient which he had contact with at RVH on March 11 has died?

Dermott: We can send you the press release from Sunday.

Muskoka Post: Ok But I'm not clear if this patient at RVH that one that was tested for COVID-19 and is confirmed, you just said that he was in contact with another patient at RVH who has passed away and this person passed away on March 11. Was the patient who passed away on March 11 also a confirmed COVID-19 case? Was he diagnosed?

Dermott: We don't know, it's under investigation that's all I can tell you right now.

This a developing story and we will update information as it comes in.

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