SUDBURY -- A Timmins man in his 80s has died as a result of the novel coronavirus, the fourth death in the Porcupine Health Unit area. 

"It is with extreme sadness that we are announcing another tragic loss related to COVID-19," said Dr. Lianne Catton, medical officer of health for Porcupine Health Unit." We would like to extend our most sincere sympathies to his family and loved ones."

The man was identified during the outbreak investigation at Timmins and District Hospital. An outbreak was declared at the northern Ontario hospital on April 19 when the first patient tested positive for the virus after a change in symptoms.

By provincial requirements, a hospital has to declare it as an outbreak, protocols that are also in place for long-term care homes. 

Out of respect during this difficult time, no further details will be provided by public health.

"We at the Timmins and District Hospital also offer our condolences to the family and loved ones affected by this loss," said Blaise MacNeil, President and Chief Executive Officer at the hospital.

The investigation process into the outbreak at the hospital is ongoing.

"The safety and well-being of our patients and staff remains our top priority," said MacNeil. "We will continue to work closely with the Porcupine Health Unit throughout this investigation."

As of April 28, there have been 58 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Porcupine Health Unit service area, which covers Timmins, Cochrane, Matheson, Iroquois Falls, and Smooth Rock Falls. So far, 44 cases are considered resolved.

If you think you may have COVID–19 symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has, first self-isolate and then use Ontario’s Self-Assessment Tool to see if you need to seek further care. Contact your primary care provider or the Porcupine Health Unit for referral to an Assessment Centre as appropriate.

The Ontario Government is asking everyone in the province to stay home unless absolutely necessary for essential reasons, such as accessing health care services, shopping for groceries, picking up medication, walking pets when required, or supporting vulnerable community members with meeting essential needs.

If you must leave your home, stay at least two metres apart from others.

If you need further assistance, call TeleHealth Ontario at 1–866–797–0000 or your health care provider. You can also call the Porcupine Health Unit at 705–267–1181 or toll-free 1–800–461–1818.