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Health unit reports 7th COVID-19 related death

It's the third death related to the Timmins and District Hospital outbreak
2019-07-22 Timmins hospital MH
Timmins and District Hospital. Maija Hoggett/TimminsToday

The Porcupine Health Unit is reporting another death related to COVID-19 in Timmins.

It is the fifth death in Timmins related to the virus since the start of the pandemic, and the seventh in the health unit's region.

According to the health unit it is a woman in her 70s who was admitted to hospital who tested positive April 21. The case is related to the outbreak at Timmins and District Hospital, which was declared over May 11. This is the third death related to the outbreak.

The health unit says no further details will be share out of respect for the family.

"On behalf of the health unit, we extend our deepest condolences to all of her family and friends," said medical officer of health Dr. Lianne Catton in a news release.

TADH president and CEO Blaise MacNeil also extended sincere condolences to the family and friends. 

At the hospital, visitor restrictions are still in effect, there are enhanced personal protective equipment (PPE), and active screening at all entrances. Patients and staff who provide direct patient care or who work in patient care areas must wear a mask while on site. People attending appointments or receiving medical care are encouraged to wear their own face covering.

The health unit has not reported any new COVID-19 cases in 13 days. 

To date, there have been 65 positive tests in the region. Of those, 55 are resolved and seven people have died. The health unit is tracking three known active cases of the virus.

The health unit is aware of 4,592 tests being done locally, which is an increase of 114 since the last report. There are 173 tests under investigation. 

This week, there have been 318 tests done locally, which is still a drop from previous weeks.

Catton said there have been too many tragic outcomes.

"We need to continue to work together to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and protect our families, neighbours, co-workers and communities," she said. 

People are asked to stay home if you're not well and to practice physical distancing when you are out. If you can't maintain a two-metre distance from others, consider wearing a face covering. You should also limit your outings to stores, wash your hands often, and avoid touching your face.

Symptoms of the virus include cough, fever, and difficulty breathing as well as sore throat/hoarse voice, difficulty swallowing, loss of smell or taste, fatigue, muscle aches, runny nose, loss of appetite, diarrhea, and nausea or vomiting.

There are COVID-19 Assessment centres in Timmins, Cochrane, Iroquois Falls, Kapuskasing, Smooth Rock Falls, Hearst and Hornepayne. They are by appointment only and you must be referred by your primary healthcare provider or the health unit.

The PHU COVID-19 hotline is open today from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. It can be reached at 705-267-1181 or 1-800-461-1818.

Maija Hoggett

About the Author: Maija Hoggett

Maija Hoggett is an experienced journalist who covers Timmins and area
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