Durham Region Health Department confirms COVID-19-related death of local resident

Whitby, Ontario – Durham Region Health Department has received confirmation of the Region’s first COVID-19-related death. The individual, a man in his 90s, was a resident at Hillsdale Terraces in Oshawa, and was recently confirmed positive for COVID-19. The individual passed away on March 23 after being transferred from Hillsdale Terraces to Lakeridge Health Oshawa.

“We extend our sincere condolences to this man’s family and our thoughts are with them during this very sad time,” said Dr. Robert Kyle, Durham Region Medical Officer of Health. “It is truly unfortunate that this man’s tragic passing underscores the need for us to work together as a community to help stop the spread of COVID-19. We need everyone’s help to protect those most vulnerable in our community and encourage all area residents to take the practice of social and physical distancing very seriously and take action to protect yourself and others in our community.”

The Health Department continues to urge residents to take every precaution to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health of the community, especially those who are most at risk. Social and physical distancing, keeping at least two metres, or six feet away from others, is one of the best ways to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including COVID-19. It is also strongly recommended that you:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or hand sanitizer even when hands are not visibly dirty.
  • Cough or sneeze into your sleeve or elbow and encourage others to do the same.
  • Wash your hands after handling nose and throat secretions (e.g. after throwing out used facial tissues).
  • Avoid touching your face and cleaning hands before touching eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces, especially those that are high-touch areas.
  • Do not share water bottles, straws, eating utensils, cigarettes, toothbrushes, toys or anything else that has been in contact with saliva, nose or throat secretions.
  • If you are ill, stay at home and keep yourself away from others.
  • Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.
  • If you are ill and must visit a health care provider, call ahead or tell them right away when you arrive that you have a respiratory illness and wear a mask while waiting to be seen.
  • Practice physical distancing: do your best to keep at least two metres (six feet) away from others.
  • If you are able, avoid all now-essential activity as recommended and declared by the province of Ontario.
  • If you think you may have COVID-19 symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has it, first self-isolate and then use Ontario's Self-Assessment Tool to see if you need to seek further care.
  • If you need further assistance, call TeleHealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000 or your health care provider. You can also call Durham Health Connection Line at 905-668-2020 or 1-800-841-2729.
  • If you or someone you know is experiencing severe symptoms, please call 911 immediately.

Area residents are encouraged to get updated information on COVID-19 by regularly reviewing credible sources of information. A list of these sources can be found by visiting durham.ca/novelcoronavirus.

Visit Ontario’s website to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19.