The spread of COVID-19 in Ontario has resulted in a second death. It was reported on Thursday, March 19, that the province has seen a second fatality related to the pandemic. As of statistics released Thursday morning, Ontario has at least 257 confirmed cases right now.
CBC reported around 12:25 p.m. on Thursday that a man in his 50s has become the second Ontarian to die as a result of the virus, according to Halton Region Public Health.
The man apparently had an "underlying health condition" and was treated in Oakville and Milton in the GTA, per CTV News.
According to a statement released by Halton Region Public Health, he was being treated at Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital and Milton District Hospital.
“This is the tragic proof that we need to work together as a community to help stop the spread of COVID-19 by practicing social distancing and taking action to protect yourself and those around you,” Dr. Hamidah Meghani, Halton Region’s Medical Officer of Health, said in the statement.
This casualty follows Ontario's first COVID-19-related death, which was confirmed on Tuesday, March 17.
That case concerned a 77-year-old man, again with an underlying illness, who died in hospital in the Barrie area.
#HaltonON Region Public Health confirms second death in Ontario related to #COVID19. https://t.co/rxN4qtRTTr— Halton Region (@Halton Region) 1584634812.0
However, it should be noted that it has not yet been confirmed whether that first victim died as a direct result of COVID-19, or if it was simply in his system.
CBC reports that as of Thursday morning, the province had confirmed 43 new cases of the disease. One of those is reportedly a man in his 80s who is in hospital.
According to CTV, provincial health officials say nearly 4,000 residents are currently under investigation for the virus.
More than 12,000 people in Ontario have tested negative, five people who were infected have since recovered, and two have now died.
Per CTV, Thursday's newly-announced cases include eight people in Toronto.
There are also three in Peel, two in Hamilton, two in Halton Region, and one each from in Eastern Ontario, Durham Region, Waterloo and Haliburton-Kawartha.
As the crisis continues in North America and across the world, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Thursday that the Canada-U.S. border will close between Friday and Saturday.