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COVID-19 confirmed cause of death in Barrie case

The man died March 11, and a post-mortem test confirmed COVID-19 on March 17. Today a coroner's report confirmed the virus was the cause of death
2020-02-07 RVH RB 2
Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre is located on Georgian Drive in Barrie's north end. Raymond Bowe/BarrieToday

A coroner's report confirmed COVID-19 was the cause of death for a man who died on March 11 at Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre in Barrie.

Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit reported the confirmation from the coroner's office today.

The health unit said there’s no further information from the coroner, other than the death was deemed to be caused by COVID-19.

The man was in the hospital for approximately 20 hours before he died.

The man was 77 years old and had close contact with another man who tested positive for COVID-19.

According to earlier information provided by the health unit, the case connected to this was a positive COVID-19 test in an Alberta man in his 70s visiting Barrie. The Alberta man reportedly had close contact with the other man who died. The Alberta man was hospitalized on March 11, the same day the other man died at RVH. The health unit reported the positive test in the Alberta man on March 15, and confirmed the positive test in the deceased man on March 17, six days after his death.

Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit's medical officer of health, Dr. Charles Gardner, said the two men knew each other but, due to privacy concerns, could not divulge their relationship.

Gardner said these two cases could mean the region is now seeing community transmission.

Since this death, the province announced another death of a person with confirmed COVID-19. Halton Region Public Health says the man in his 50s also had an underlying health condition.

-With files from Shawn Gibson