Ontario has another unwanted milestone. The William Osler Health System released a statement on Thursday, April 9 sharing the news of the death of a health care worker from Brampton Civic Hospital. It's thought to be the first such death related to COVID-19 in the province.

According to the statement released by the hospital, one of their health care workers, an environmental services associate who has been with the hospital for a long time, has passed away.

"William Osler Health System is deeply saddened to announce the passing of a member of the Osler family, related to COVID-19," reads the statement.

The employee was being cared for at the Intensive Care Unit at the hospital.

Peel Region Public Health confirmed the deceased worker was a man in his 50s who had worked at the hospital for many years.

According to the Toronto Star's Lauren Pelley, this is the first COVID-19-related death of a health care worker in the province.

"Our entire organization is devastated by this news, and our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this difficult time," continues the statement.

It makes no mention of how the victim may have contracted the virus but public health officials suggested, "he likely acquired the virus in the community and not at work."

As of April 9, Ontario has reported the highest daily increase of deaths in the province as 26 more patients have passed away since yesterday's update.

There were also 483 new positive cases announced.

CBC clarifies that this is the first time a hospital in Ontario has publicly confirmed the death of one of its workers during the pandemic.

According to the Government of Ontario's website, there have now been 200 deaths in the province so far due to the disease.

Peel Region alone has 786 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of Thursday, and 10 deaths.

Brampton Civic Hospital's chief of emergency medicine had warned just this week that COVID-19's community spread is far more efficient and dangerous than it was for the SARS outbreak, per the Brampton Guardian.

"On behalf of the Region of Peel, I extend our deepest condolences to his family both at home and at work," Dr. Lawrence Loh, Peel’s Interim Medical Officer of Health said of Thursday's victim.

"He played an important role in keeping the health care system working and we mourn his loss."

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