Death of man at RVH ‘potentially related’ to COVID-19

Charles Gardner, Medical Officer of Health

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) has received notification that the death of an individual at the Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH) in Barrie was potentially related to COVID-19. 
The individual, a man in his 70s, was under investigation by the health unit as a close contact with the region’s third confirmed case of COVID-19, as reported on Sunday March 15. The third case remains in hospital.
“We are saddened by this news and are offering our condolences to the family. Unfortunately, given the gravity of the current situation in the country and Ontario, we are not surprised by this news,” said Dr. Charles Gardner, SMDHU’s medical officer of health.
“It’s further evidence that we need to continue, as a community, to work together and follow public health measures so that we protect the people who are most vulnerable and flatten the curve of this disease.” 
RVH President and CEO Janice Skot expressed condolences on behalf of the hospital.
“On behalf of Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre, we express heartfelt condolences to the family of our deceased patient. His death further underscores the seriousness of this virus. RVH has carefully tracked the patient’s movements throughout the health centre and has notified staff and physicians as appropriate. RVH is well-prepared to respond to COVID-19 cases and take all precautions necessary to keep our team, our patients and the community safe.”
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, which has extended hours, or see