Mark Clairmont | MuskokaTODAY.com

SIMCOE MUSKOKA — Regional health officials are investigating the death of a patient at RVH who came into contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19.

And they are asking guests and staff who stayed at Barrie’s Hampton Inn March 5-11 to watch for symptom of the deadly coronavirus.

This as the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) says two new confirmed cases of the virus have been identified in the region.

They said Sunday they are following up with known contacts of a two new confirmed cases; and follows the region’s first case announced last Thursday.

“Our infectious and communicable diseases team is working diligently to identify and follow up with known contacts of these new cases who may have potentially been exposed to the virus,” said Dr. Charles Gardner, SMDHU’s medical officer of health said in a release.

“The focus of the team is to ensure that we reach out and determine who should be directed to self-isolate.”

A woman in her 40s presented to Southlake Regional Health Centre in Newmarket on Friday March 13 and is self-isolating and recovering at home.

This case is related to travel.

And a man in his 70s presented to Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH) in Barrie on Wednesday March 11 and is being treated at the hospital.

RVH says it has tracked the movement of the patient throughout the health centre and have notified staff and physicians who may have been exposed to the patient.

The individual was in close contact with a second RVH patient who died March 11.

This situation is currently under investigation by SMDHU.

The SMDHU is investigating the patients’ contacts in the community and will provide appropriate follow-up with people who may have been in contact with them.

The confirmed Barrie case stayed in the Hampton Inn, Barrie, March 5-11.

The health unit is asking those who stayed or worked at this location during these times to self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days from March 11.

If symptoms develop, people are advised to self-isolate for 14 days and contact the health unit, Telehealth Ontario (1- 866-797-0000) or their health care provider. Call ahead prior to visiting any health care provider and let them know about exposure history and symptoms so that they can make special arrangements to see you quickly, provide testing, and ensure that they use proper infection control measures.

The health unit is reminding people that they can protect themselves a number of ways, including staying at least two metres distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing. Stay at home if you are sick, avoid people who are obviously ill and continue to practice diligent hand washing.

For more information call Health Connection at 705-721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520. HealthConnection’s hours are extended today 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (phone only) and will be extended next week as well.

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

Email Mark Clairmont at mark@muskokatoday.com

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