Coronavirus: St. Catharines man is Niagara’s first COVID-19-connected death

The emergency entrance at Niagara Health's St. Catharines hospital on Fourth Avenue. Google Maps

The first COVID-19-related death has been reported in Ontario’s Niagara region, according to Niagara Health.

The agency says the deceased, a man in his 80s, was a patient at the St. Catharines hospital on Fourth Avenue.

The man contracted the affliction through close contact with someone carrying the virus, they said. No further details have been released.

“On behalf of the hospital, I would like to extend our sincere condolences to the patient’s family and loved ones at this extremely sad time,” Niagara Health president Lynn Guerriero said in a statement.

According to a spokesperson at Ina Grafton Gage Village Retirement home on Linwell Road, the deceased was a resident there.

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“On behalf of Niagara Ina Grafton Gage Village, we extend our sincere condolences to our former resident’s family and loved ones re the loss of their father,” said Patrick O’Neill, the centre’s chief executive.

Click to play video: 'How to care for the elderly during the COVID-19 pandemic'
How to care for the elderly during the COVID-19 pandemic

Niagara has nine confirmed positive cases as of March 25, according to the region’s public health unit.  Three new cases were reported on Tuesday, with two connected to travel in the U.S. and another to travel in the Philippines.

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Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are asked to self-isolate for 14 days in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others.

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

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